The magic of new beginnings

“Many people don’t know that Our Lady’s Pantry has been serving families for more than 20 years,” says Tom Bullaro, co-director of the Pantry with his wife Anita.  “But, in fact, we are beginning our 25th year serving those in need.

“Our Lady’s Pantry was actually ‘born’ on December 1999.

“This happened when Dolores Clark, a woman in our community, noticed hunger all around her,” he says.

“And, she had an idea!”

Dolores shared her idea with a group of friends from Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission:  They could ask for a donation once a month, she suggested, and use it to buy food for families in need.

“And that’s what happened,” says Bullaro.

“I think you could say that the result was touched with magic.  Twenty-five people received food that first week.  Our Lady’s Pantry has been open every single week since then — even during COVID.”

Group of women and men in bright fluorescent shirts. One woman in wheelchair.

Five women and one man sorting fresh produce

Two women in florescent green shirts standing by boxes of food

Today, the Pantry has two groups of 250-300 households receiving food on alternate weeks that they can then take home to their families.  So more than a thousand men, women, and children have food on their table weekly because of food we can purchase through the kindness of others.

Men and women in bright green shirts before dawn

Three men.

“On behalf of all the volunteers at Our Lady’s Pantry, we thank the community for your amazing support over all these many years, both financially and through countless volunteer hours,” says Bullaro.

Our Lady’s Pantry is located at: 16650 U.S. Highway 301 South; Wimauma, Fl. 33598.  New volunteers are always welcome.  Be sure to scroll down to the two-minute video by Fox13News on the Pantry’s home page.