Every little bit helps

For 24-year old student nurse Cassey Seland, life is a bit of a blur.  In addition to a full class load at Hillsborough Community College, and hours of clinical work at Brandon Regional Hospital, Seland works full time at a local assisted living facility.  Despite this frenetic schedule — not to mention a new husband she loves to spend some time with — Seland stops into Our Lady's Pantry for a couple of hours now and then to lend a helping hand.  Soon she is one of the crew, packing boxes of groceries for families in need.

“The group of volunteers who work here are absolutely wonderful,” she says.  “They are so welcoming.

“And the food they provide to those who need it, is also awesome.  Every little bit helps — and Our Lady's Pantry provides more food than most places I've seen.”

Two women standing in front of shelves of food

Anita Bullaro (left) and Cassey Seland taking a break after closing one Saturday morning.

Anita Bullaro, co-director of the Our Lady's Pantry, along with her husband Tom, says that new volunteers are always welcome.  “Come whenever you can and leave whenever you wish,” she says.  “We work on Tuesday and Friday mornings, mostly sorting food for the weekend.  Then on Saturday morning, we fill our boxes and give them out.”

Seland says she was wowed by the big boxes stuffed with a wide variety of groceries given to families. Once shelves are emptied each Saturday, however, Bullaro says they depend on more donations to stock the shelves for the following week.  Donations of non-expired, non-perishable foods are always appreciated.

You can bring donations to the Pantry on Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday morning.  Our Lady's Pantry is located in the front of the classroom building on the far right-hand corner of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Migrant Mission Center, in Wimauma.

According to Bullaro, monetary donations are especially welcome, because they can buy food at Feeding America Tampa Bay for $.18 a pound.  Thus, a little bit of money goes a long way toward feeding our neighbors in need.  If you are able to help with food, kindly make your check out to Our Lady's Pantry, c/o Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Migrant Mission Church, and send it to 16650 U.S. Highway 301 South, Wimauma, Fl. 33598.

“Most recently, we've been providing food for about 192 families a week,” says Bullaro.  “None of this would be possible without the generous donations we receive from the community and volunteers like Cassey, who give of their time to lend a helping hand.  We are so appreciative of all the assistance we receive.”

“I hope to come back often — and even encourage others, as well,” says Seland.

Please visit us at: http://www.OurLadysPantry.com