Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE -

“We serve an av­er­age of 200 fam­i­lies at any given point,” Mimi said, “and over the seven years since we opened, more than 700 fam­i­lies have re­lied on the pantry dur­ing dif­fi­cult times.” That works out to about nine per­cent of the county’s pop­u­la­tion, roughly equal to the U.S. Census es­ti­mate on res­i­dents at or below the poverty level. Some clients just need help when an emer­gency puts an ex­tra strain on fi­nances or when the cup­board starts to run bare.

Mimi knows cus­tomers by name and cir­cum­stances, and when she’s missed a fa­mil­iar face for weeks and weeks, she’ll note the ab­sence. Usu­ally, the re­sponse is, “Oh, I was do­ing okay. You need to save the help for those who re­ally need it.”

Ev­ery month, the pantry’s sup­port­ing mar­kets con­trib­ute 500-600 pounds of food. That’s matched and raised by do­na­tions from lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als and groups, who gave a to­tal of 111,644 pounds of food last year. Then there’s 29,457 pounds of Pep­peridge Farm bread that Steve Welch from Flint Hill has added since July 1, 2012. (He’s given more – he’s been a sup­porter since the doors first opened. That’s just his tally since the pantry gained its in­de­pen­dence.)

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