The HELP Pantry (Hunger Eased By Loving Persons), located at Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1310 Ashman St. Midland, was started in 1982. In response to high unemployment in Midland County, discussions began on how to help with local hunger needs and the church transformed a vacant room into a pantry to provide food to the Department of Social Services and its clients. The HELP pantry became a founding pantry of the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network in 1983.
The pantry serves up to 5 client families per day, three days per week except holidays. In response to the pandemic, the pantry suspended “you-pick” practices which allows a client to pick their own food. Instead, a grocery cart of approximately 100 perishable and non-perishable items is prepared for each client family. Clients remain in their vehicles while the groceries are loaded by volunteers. The clients continue to choose selections from our meat and dairy items, which often include beef, chicken, pork, venison, fish, eggs, butter, and cheese. The pantry also provides gift certificates to the local Family Fare grocery store to purchase other items. The pantry intends to resume “you-pick” operations as soon as we believe it is safe to do so. We look forward to once again welcoming clients by appointment into the pantry to choose a week’s worth of items based on the size of their families.
The pantry is blessed by generous donations of food and funds from other churches, schools, service clubs, and businesses. We rely on a large group of dedicated volunteers to keep the pantry operating. In addition to the pantry’s regular service, emergency boxes, containing 2 to 3 days of food supplies, are available anytime Memorial Presbyterian Church is open.
The HELP Pantry also participates in the pantry rotation of providing boxes of food for EFPN’s Senior Delivery Program.