Aumsville’s Shopping Style Food Pantry Offers Gardening and Nutrition Classes
Rocky didn’t like going to the food pantry when she was a child. She remembers feeling like her family was begging for whatever food they could get. Now that she runs the Aumsville Food Pantry with her husband Eric, they do things differently. Their food pantry is committed to treating everyone with respect and love while emphasizing wholesome, nutritious food.
You make this possible.
Recently passing the one year mark, your support gives them the ability to serve about 85 families every week. This number has doubled from when they opened.
“When we became pastors of the Aumsville Pentecostal Church of God, we didn’t set out to be a food ministry,” Eric said. “But when you see a need, you fill the need.”
Rocky organizes groceries into pairings to give guests an idea of how to use multiple items to create meals. Samples are also offered.
“We are a shopping-style pantry,” Rocky said. “That means that people can choose what food they want to take. People love having a choice. They really love fresh produce.”
Rocky and Eric understand that giving people the option to have healthy food is especially important at a food pantry. Onsite they have also built a community garden, and they host nutrition and gardening classes.
“When I was nine, my family was given hundreds of vouchers for free French fries from a fast food restaurant,” Rocky said. “We ate fries for every meal that year – literally breakfast, lunch and dinner. To this day, I still don’t like French fries.
“Eric and I struggled with obesity after a life of eating unhealthy food. That’s why the gardening and nutrition classes are so important to us. We don’t think that being poor should mean that you have to be unhealthy.”
Because of you, Aumsville Food Pantry receives produce, bread and some household supplies from Marion-Polk Food Share while the rest of their donations come from Aumsville and surrounding towns. Dove’s Echo – their community garden – was constructed earlier this year primarily from donated materials.
“We ask and the community provides,” Eric said. “Neighbors helping neighbors is how you build a community. Everyone should have the feeling of ‘I belong.’”
“We’re here to help each other,” Rocky said.