Hunger is a deep-rooted problem in every community so, at first glance, Trinity Community Food Pantry doesn’t seem to be extraordinary. However, hunger in many forms vanquished within these rosy tan brick walls.
There is a community within the Parkland community, and it meets at the food bank. They’d like you to know that they aren’t what you’d expect to see, and they’d like you to know that their numbers are rising, borne on the tide of “too much month and not enough money.” The majority served are elderly, but the younger population does utilize the food bank, often while wearing work uniform. Still, they aren’t the kind to bemoan their lot: a recent visitor had high hopes of getting a new job with better pay.
Trinity Lutheran Church says of its feeding ministry programs that “in a world filled with God’s abundance, we think no one should go hungry.” This dovetails nicely into the church’s mission statement, which is “living out our faith in Jesus Christ through joyous service to others.”
Nestled into the farthest end of Thompson Hall, inside Trinity Lutheran Church, is the Trinity Lutheran Feeding Ministry. The church’s program has traditionally included a monthly community meal and a community garden, but currently, it is also a thrice-weekly food pantry. The food bank is partially supplied by the Emergency Food Network, but depends heavily on donations from the congregation and local businesses. Part of the food pantry’s services include canning and preserves from the community garden. The inclusion of the garden with the food bank is novel, because the food bank has fresh produce, a food group which is somewhat difficult to source in the greater Parkland area, considering its low number of local grocery stores. Produce can cost as much as milk or meat, and is often the first food group sacrificed from an impoverished budget.
The pantry delivered almost 11 tons of food in summer 2018, serving nearly 600 families. It is a lifeline service for some members of the community, but it also offers crucial volunteer opportunities. Trinity Food Pantry has many wonderful volunteers who oversee the day to day operation of the pantry, contributing time and often, resources, and new faces are always welcomed. The food bank proudly hosts food tastings several times a month, and it serves coffee and a light snack on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. All are welcome to stop by and peruse the bounty of the “choice table,” but bagged groceries are available once a month per family. The food bank does not offer religious counseling, nor does it require a faith identification.
McMillan, T. (March 3, 2016) The SNAP gap: Benefits aren’t enough to keep many recipients fed. Retrieved from: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/03/468955099/the-snap-gap-benefits-arent-enough-to-keep-many-recipients-fed
Pierce County. (2018). Food banks. Retrieved from: https://co.pierce.wa.us/454/Food-Banks
Trinity Lutheran Church. (2018). Feeding ministries. Retrieved from: http://trinitylutheranparkland.org/feeding-ministries
United States Census Bureau. (2017). Parkland CDP, Washington. Retrieved from: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/parklandcdp