Our Lady's Pantry has thrived for 20 years, thanks to ongoing donations for food from countless persons and groups with a passion for fighting hunger. Much of what goes on behind the scenes, however, depends on philanthropic organizations helping to meet needs beyond the food itself.
“Publix Charities, for example, has been amazing in their support of Our Lady’s Pantry,” says director Tom Bullaro. “Most recently, they gifted us with $2,000 to enable us to purchase portable conveyor rollers for our cooler. These rollers will facilitate our moving heavy containers of produce and crates of milk from one place to another. Not only do these rollers enhance the safety of our volunteers — whose average age is 72 years — but they make tasks so much easier.”
These rollers are a Godsend, according to Bullaro. In fact, Publix Charities gifted us with $6,500 several years ago, so we could purchase portable conveyor rollers for throughout the Pantry for the first time. No other organization helped us purchase these rollers.
Bullaro says rollers help tremendously when unloading our trucks twice a week and hauling up to 8,000 pounds (four tons!) of produce, frozen meats, canned and boxed foods into the Pantry, where it is stored until Saturday. And then on Saturdays, the process is reversed as we pack individual boxes, rolling them out to clients’ cars. Our new rollers will simplify our work all the more.
“So these conveyor rollers get lots of use,” Bullaro adds, “but that’s not all. Publix Charities also gave us $10,000 a few years ago towards the purchase of our refrigerated truck, as well as $2,500 for an automated external defibrillator (AED), which has the potential to save lives in an emergency.
“Publix Charities recognizes that there are many ways to serve the underserved in this community,” says Bullaro. “We thank them again for the very many ways they have helped us over the years.”