Beach Community Food Pantry helps feed local communities

The Beach Community Food Pantry, a mission of Calvary Episcopal Church, is finding success with two local food drives that replaced the canceled Stamp Out Hunger program.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — The Beach Community Food Pantry, a mission of Calvary Episcopal Church, is finding success with two local food drives that replaced the canceled Stamp Out Hunger program.

Shelves are now fully stocked. BCFP is ready to hand out prepackaged groceries along with a choice of meat, produce, eggs, bread and even pet food. Due to the coronavirus, prebagged items met the need for higher safety standards by ensuring the least amount of contact handing out food.

On April 25 and May 9, the BCFP was able to get food donations with support from Action2000 and the Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association, along with the entire community. Not only did these food drives help with goods, but also monetary donations have been plentiful making the campaign extraordinarily successful, according to a press release. Publix has also provided pallet loads of food through their donation program, Food for Sharing, while Home Depot donated the labor and truck for pickup and delivery to the food pantry.

David Kline, past director at the local BCFP, has been working with a small group of volunteers to ensure food is carefully quarantined, sorted, bagged and ready for pickup. As the need has grown, the food pantry participates in the USDA program allowing individuals to get one extra bag of food each month.

“We serve 26 communities within Pinellas County area and are looking to feed even more people,” said Kline. The goal is to not only drive more groceries into their food pantry but also engage those needing more food. “Our bags are ready to hand out this week and we want all of our visitors to know we can help.”

They ask that anyone with a fever or cough to stay home and send someone to pick up their groceries even if they do not live in their household.

The hours currently available for prebagged food pickup are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon; as well as Thursday, from 5 to 7 p.m. Clients are asked to stop by every other week to pick up bagged food at 1615 First St., Indian Rocks Beach. For information, call 727-282-4085 or visit www.bcfoodpantry.org.