Local churches and agencies, as well as First Call for Help refer people in need to the Emergency Food Pantry Network (EFPN). The people are interviewed by a Coordinator to determine need. The Coordinator then sends the recipient to one of seven pantries located throughout Midland County. In general, recipients can be helped as often as 6 times per year. The Coordinator reserves the right to help a recipient more often. In interviewing the clients, the Coordinator notes ages of children, as well as special dietary needs. The Coordinator will make the most effective use of our resources to avoid abuse and help those in need.
Clients receive a seven day supply of food as well as personal needs items, cleaning supplies, and gift certificates. Gift certificates are used to purchase perishable items and to supplement the food and household supplies that are received from the pantries. These certificates cannot be used for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, lottery tickets, money orders, or cash.
The pantries have volunteers who pick out and bag the food for the clients. Some pantries are experimenting with a “U-Pick” procedure where clients make an appointment and then come to choose their own food and supplies.