Our story started in 2006, when representatives of local churches met to discuss how they could work together to meet some of our community’s needs; homelessness, hunger, and violence. After brainstorming, we decided to focus on the need for food assistance by consolidating our individual food pantries and Community Interfaith Food Pantry was born. St. Paul’s UCC donated a building at 205 W. B St. and Neighbors for Renewal renovated it. Our first pantry opened in August 2007. We soon realized the great demand in the community for food assistance. Clients were crowded out the front door. Volunteers ran into each other trying to navigate carts through the small rooms. Our limited storage space filled up fast. We quickly outgrew our space.
Thanks to our generous donors, hard-working board, and volunteers from Neighbors for Renewal we were able to move to our current home at 1218 W. Main Street in October 2014. We're more visible with a larger, more comfortable space for clients. Our volunteers no longer crash shopping carts into one another. We have lots of storage area, and it is all on one level. And, we have additional warehouse space behind our main building.
We continue to be 100% volunteer led and governed, which allows us to use 98% of our funding for program services. Our Governing Board now numbers 11 faith communities. It is impressive to see what can be accomplished when communities pool their resources and work together towards a common goal. We are grateful for all the people, businesses, and the many organizations who have supported us since 2007 as we continue to serve the people of Belleville, Swansea, and Scott AFB.