After fifteen years of serving the community with the support of Redemption Food Pantry in Chester, Virginia, we are excited to share that we have launched our own 501(c)3 to allow further expansion of this program. NBC12 recently shared our good news story that we have outgrown our current location which has served 50,000 families. Your assistance is needed to help us secure a new home that can better service the needs of our community.
Please join us by making a monetary donation to kickstart our mission. With our new location comes a new name - Engage Food Pantry - a fiscally sponsored 501(c)3 public charity under CORE Foundation Inc, EIN 20-5997764. Your donations are tax deductible.
Our food pantry journey started in Long Island, New York almost three decades ago. I was working for the Urban League (a community service organization). One of the project directors asked me, “Does your church have a food pantry?” I answered, “No.” She said, “Now you do.” From that point in history, I was drafted into my life’s work mission of feeding the hungry.
In 2002, we moved to Hopewell, Virginia, and joined the Redemption Outreach Center family. In 2007 we began managing their food pantry and soup kitchen. We closed the soup kitchen and focused on the significant needs of the community in downtown Hopewell. We expanded the food pantry, and services were added including clothing giveaways and a partnership community resource center.
In 2015 the Hopewell location moved to the primary Chester church site where we are now, with a focus on food distribution, personal hygiene needs, and clothing giveaways. Today, we are still thriving and helping the hungry. In 2020, our pantry reached families, seniors, and shut-ins that were drastically affected by COVID-19 and job loss. Many people who had never visited a pantry before were anxious and embarrassed coming for help. However, thanks to our wonderful caring volunteers, they left feeling loved and blessed with so much food and toiletries that they were overjoyed with tears.
One of the unique aspects of our pantry is our volunteer staff that come to us from different faiths, churches, colleges, and all walks of life. They are committed to minister to the shared vision of helping feed our communities and loving all people. We have had the honor of touching lives during the most challenging time in history. Our goal for our new location is to continue to reach our community one meal at a time and to reestablish our community referral resource center.
Pastors Jim & Didi Gray