Pantry History

                    by

Gladys Faherty, pantry secretary

 

Frostburg Area Inter-Faith Pantry was organize by the Frostburg Ministerial Association in 1977 as a response to the high unemployment situation in Allegany County. The primary purpose of the pantry is to provide food needed in emergencies for families until existing resources can respond on an ongoing basis. Each church in town was asked to send a member to the first meeting, and Father Brown from the Episcopal Church convened the group and acted as adivsor. The small group met each month and wrote a constitution and by-laws. The Pantry was set up as an autonomous organization independent of the ministerium but in cooperation with the churches. Each church was asked to send two representatives to the monthly meeting that would serve as the governing board. Dale Coleman of the Brethren Church was the driving force and was elected pantry manager. He went to the town council and received permission for the Pantry to use the basement of the former Hill Street School as its headquarters. The panrty continues to give out food to people who were referred by the churches or by the county social agencies. Since 1978, they have collected clothing and have had clothing give-aways to anyone who wants to come.

The Pantry receives canned goods and monetary donations from churches, community organizations, and individuals. It has been able to receive grants from both the state and federal government. It also has formed a partnership with the Frostburg Rotary, which has helped the Pantry to have wider community support and better publicity. In addition, the Pantry has received the help of an Americorps aide who has organized food drives and helped with publicity. In 2010 after conferring with Frostburg United Methodist Church, the Pantry moved to the church's Jones Center bulding located at 44 West Main Street.

The Pantry manager keeps records of how many people has been helped throughout each year. Throughout 2014, the pantry has given food to 1,802 people in 613 families and has given clothing to 561 people. From the 38 years the Pantry has been in existence, they have given food to 39,293 people in 10,700 families and has given clothing to 18,484 people.