Walmart Donation Program Helps Robeline Food Pantry
The Food Bank of Central Louisiana partners with other organizations throughout the region – local food pantries, churches, shelters, senior centers, youth programs, and community groups – that provide food for neighbors in need. Robeline Food Pantry is one of our partners in Natchitoches Parish.
Robeline Food Pantry also partners with Walmart to provide food to pantry clients. Through Walmart’s retail store donation program, Robeline Food Pantry receives food donations from the Walmart store in Natchitoches, providing meat, bakery products, and produce to distribute to people who visit the pantry. While the exact items donated are never the same, Robeline Food Pantry’s Coordinator, Amanda Clark, loves the reliable quality of the food, even if she doesn’t know what the pantry will receive. “You never know – it’s always a surprise. It’s always just really good stuff!”
Robeline Food Pantry operates through the mission team at Robeline First Baptist Church. The mission team also hosts food drives through the congregation. Every month the team chooses one item that the pantry needs and organizes the food drive around that theme. April is Apple Jacks month, and church members are encouraged to bring donations of cereal to share with the food pantry.
Another service the pantry offers is delivery to those who can’t travel to the church on pick-up days. Amanda Clark said simply, “Several people in this community don’t have a vehicle, and they need food. We get them signed up and we take them food.” She described a situation where a woman called in need of emergency food, who couldn’t get to the pantry. When they arrived with her delivery, she had three small children, and one little boy yelled, “Yay! Mom, we’ve got food! We don’t have to be hungry anymore!” Amanda said that she went home that day and cried. “We don’t realize how often people in our community are struggling, going through hard times; and being able to help is amazing.”
People picking up food at the pantry have the option to either park and walk in, or they may pull their vehicle up and have volunteers put the food into their cars. Either way, neighbors feel welcome when they visit the food pantry. The volunteers spend time with everyone, catching up, asking after families, even chatting about politics in the parking lot. The team is working on a barbeque pit with plans to offer a hot lunch when people come to pick up their food bags, making the experience even more friendly. Walmart’s contribution, especially of fresh meats, will ensure that the new barbeque pit will soon be serving up even more healthy hospitality to neighbors in need in Robeline.
To learn more about Robeline Food Pantry, or to make a donation of food or funds, contact Amanda Clark at Robeline First Baptist Church: 318-472-8593.