While the Day Shelter Program and the Hypothermia Program serve homeless men only, the Food Pantry, which has been a part of the Father McKenna Center program from the beginning (1983), serves women and men from low income families who come with need for food to supplement what they prepare for themselves at home.
The Food Pantry is open each day (Monday – Friday) from 11 am to 12 noon. Families seeking food assistance come, check-in and are provided the opportunity to receive a dozen eggs, a half-gallon of milk, meat, fresh bread and produce, and a selection of rice and pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and fruit, tuna and other quality foods to support a healthy diet. Families may visit the Food Pantry twice per month, with two weeks between visits. On an annual basis this means we will provide food that supports more than 30,000 meals.
Families who utilize the Food Pantry are generally from within walking distance of our location, living near North Capitol Street in Northeast and Northwest, although we serve anyone who qualifies for food assistance. To qualify they must be 1) residents of Ward 6; and, 2) recipients of SNAP, Medicaid or SSI.
The Food Pantry always welcomes donations of medium size serving containers of the following foods:
Soups (especially chicken noodle, chicken rice, minestrone, clam chowder)
Canned Vegetables (particularly spinach, collard greens, green beans, peas and corn)
Canned Tuna or Chicken
Cereals (Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Oatmeal in single-serve packets)
Pancake Mix / Syrup
Pasta (especially spaghetti and elbows)
Jellies and Jams
Ritz or Saltine Crackers (smaller packages)
A volunteer opportunity in support of the Food Pantry is to help sort and stock the shelves so that our guests can see what is available and make selections. We also need volunteers willing to support our clients as they shop in the Food Pantry (all training will be provided).
Holiday Baskets Through the generous support of churches in the Washington area (especially Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown and St. Bernadette in Silver Spring) and several local businesses, we offer families in the Food Pantry program special food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The food baskets contain all the ingredients for a holiday meal. At Thanksgiving that means a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, corn bread. At Christmas we try to offer a different menu.