Our snowbirds have left a big hole in Our Lady’s Pantry and won’t be back until the Fall.  Can you help?

“On a typical Saturday morning, Our Lady’s Pantry distributes an estimated 35,000 pounds of food to some 300 clients, who visit us in our drive-thru Pantry,” says director Tom Bullaro.  “It takes many hands, however, to provide food for the hundreds of people who come to us for food.”

According to Bullaro, a typical week at Our Lady’s Pantry begins when our drivers spend five days a week, driving all throughout Hillsborough County purchasing food, or picking up donations.

Woman getting into a truck

When drivers come back to the Pantry, in Wimauma, our volunteers transfer the contents of the truck onto our fork lift.

Man standing inside an empty truck

Our fork-lift operator transfers the food into the pantry.

Man on yellow fork lift

Here, a team of helpers sorts the food into categories, stores it on our shelves, or puts it in the cooler or freezer until Saturday morning.

Lots of women working at different tasks and laughing

When the food is sorted, our helpers head to the back room for whatever tasks remains to be done.  For example, we check the “best-used-by-dates” of all food donations to ensure they are safe for our clients.  Then, the 25-pound bags of rice, we sometimes have, are emptied into smaller family-size bags.  Big boxes of granola bars are repackaged for families.  And so much more . . ..

Then on Saturdays, our volunteers inside the Pantry pack our non-perishable foods into boxes and send them out to the porch on trolleys.  Here, they are filled further with fresh produce, breads, cereals, and desserts, frozen meats/poultry and other foods, and put into our clients’ cars.

“Our pantry in Wimauma is a busy place and we need more help!” says Bullaro.

“But not all tasks require working in Wimauma, though,” he adds.  “Want to work at home?  No problem.  Can you lend a hand with administrative tasks now and then?  Do you like to write?  You could write some stories of the Pantry, or publish our internal newsletter twice a year.  Or perhaps you could write a grant?  We can provide all the details you need to get started.

“We would be pleased to welcome you into our extended family of helpers," says Bullaro, adding that "it's a great place to meet new friends."

Our Lady's Pantry is located in the classroom building on the far right campus of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Migrant Mission, 16650 U.S. Highway 301 South, Wimauma.  We are just south of Sun City Center Blvd. on the left side of 301, across from Aldi's.

“We are especially in need of help at the Pantry on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings,” says Bullaro.  “And thanks so much.  Please ask for me or Kim if you come.  Or email me at:  Tom92801@aol.com   I will get back to you as soon as I can.”