Among the challenges faced by Our Lady's Pantry is not only having enough money for food for our families — but having enough to pay our bills. In fact, the hidden costs of running Our Lady's Pantry are significant.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), for example, requires that even non-perishable foods be stored below 78 degrees, so our required air-conditioning bills are huge, piggybacking on the cost of refrigeration for our walk-in freezer and walk-in cooler.
Included among other expenses are maintenance and insurance on our two old trucks, along with gasoline and oil. The combined mileage of these two 2006-model trucks is currently more than 450,000 miles, so maintenance is considerable. A newer model used truck is currently on the Pantry's wish list. Because the USDA requires that any vehicle used to transport food must be refrigerated, the anticipated cost of a used refrigerated truck is about $50,000.
And food costs keep climbing as well. This past fiscal year, Our Lady's Pantry spent more than $61,000 for food for our families. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, most of our income for food comes through our monthly Project Hunger collections at Prince of Peace and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We also have been receiving grants for food from a number of local philanthropic groups including the Interfaith Council/Nearly New Shop. Most of the rest of our support comes from individual donations from this generous community.
If you wish to help with expenses faced by the Pantry, kindly send a check to: Our Lady of Guadalupe Food Pantry; 16650 U.S. Highway 301 South; Wimauma, Fl. 33598. If you wish to designate your gift specifically for food — please note that designation on your check. Or just donate on Project Hunger weekend at Prince of Peace or Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission.
If you wish to contribute towards a new truck, please note that designation on your check.
Thank you for helping us to help others.