Pantry Clean Up Month


On Saturday, January 6, 2024, before the effects of a long Advent/Christmas season had worn off, the volunteers for the Food Pantry had a rather daunting challenge.

In one day, they were to clean out the two storage rooms and the “Dungeon” in preparation for cleaning and repair of these rooms.

As many of you know who are at church after one of the bimonthly food distribution Saturdays, the numbers appearing at the church for food have steadily increased since Debby Campbell and Peggy Walck have taken over the running of it. They have assembled an outstanding cadre of volunteers who do very good work and are the kind of “happy campers” any food pantry wants to have doing service.

This January the pantry is closed. At some point closing the pantry was going to be necessary. Even were there not urgent work to be done, all food pantries must shut down periodically to get things back in order and to clean house.

Going from serving around 70 families/month to serving over 1000 families/month has taken a toll on the physical space as well as the volunteers. It is good to report that the work of cleaning, inventory and getting ready to replace the flooring and to add better storage for perishable food storage was completed.

Volunteers, please be aware that on January 20th, mandatory Volunteer Training will take place. If anyone wants to continue or wants to join the volunteers, this training must be completed.

The next Food Pantry distribution will be on February 3, 2024. Volunteers in early shift to show up at 8:30.

This ministry does important work as Christ instructed us to do.

Deborah Emin

CEC Pantry Closed for January Find Out Why.

The Food Pantry at CEC is taking a much needed break from its regular twice monthly food distribution for the month of January. It is never a good time to shut down a food pantry. Though, ours will still be making emergency food deliveries to individuals and to the small organizations our Food Pantry collaborates with.

We’ll still be picking up food from Earthlight on a weekly basis and from Price Chopper three times a week. Thus, fresh food will still be available without the trucks from Second Harvest showing up.

And as nothing about the Food Pantry ever completely halts, the reason for this one-month closure, to repair/renovate the rooms where the food is stored, requires volunteers on January 6, at 10 am, to remove everything from these rooms.

And on January 20, mandatory volunteer training will be held. If this is a ministry you want to participate in, and I highly recommend it, please be sure to take this training.

Working constantly in any ministry that helps others, whether it is caregiving or a Food Pantry, or tending to the needs of the unhoused requires time for self-care. A time for one’s own personal care giving when the needs of others are set aside to restore one’s self.

With this enforced cessation of work, now is a good time to rest. To take long walks. To sleep. To be there for yourself. As obvious as this example is, we too often forget it—putting on one’s oxygen mask first in an emergency means you are available to help others.

Take care of yourselves. The Food Pantry serves a vital role in hundreds of families lives. Doing God’s work is a blessing. 

St. Nicholas Fair 2023

The Food Pantry has been very busy with holiday distributions and other events like the St Nicholas Crafts Fair involving the crew’s time.

But what great work is being accomplished!

The Food Pantry served more than 430 families for Thanksgiving. There were over 400 families on the first Friday and Saturday of December. For the St Nicholas Mass, Fr Bruce and Fr Millard Cook served a bilingual Mass, the third one at Christ Episcopal Church.

We from the Food Pantry gave away coats, sweaters, boots upstairs in the Narthex. The event raised $200 for the Food Pantry.

More is happening and by the time you read this, volunteers, totaling between 25-30, will have put together the 400 boxes and bags for the Christmas distribution. And that will be the final distribution of 2023. And it has been a truly transformational year.

Stay tuned for the Food Pantry’s plans for 2024. Like all ministries, the Food Pantry will be submitting a budget and calendar for 2024. Given Debby Campbell’s passion and Peggy Walck’s incredible organizational skills, 2024 will be even more of a success than this year has been. 

Author: Deborah Emin 

CEC Food Pantry First Saturday of Advent

On the first Saturday in December, 341 families received food at the Christ Episcopal Food Pantry.

It may sound like we repeat this too often, but when we restarted the Food Pantry with Debby Campbell and Peggy Walck in charge, we were serving 35 families. This exponential growth is not a surprise but it is a challenge.

And everywhere now it is a challenge for so many people to find food for their families. Christ Church is blessed to have had the volunteer numbers grow along with the need for them as well.

Here we are, too, in Advent. We wait Christ’s arrival. The opening of doors and hearts to those in need is precisely what Christ asks us to do. Out of need, a real community has grown. This is where Communion happens too. This is where love matters along with music and dancing, because what is church without that too.

In these graced moments during Advent, giving and receiving are holy acts. The sharing of time and the actual passing of the peace.

It is a Eucharist without liturgy. But I do believe the Gospel message is present in everyones heart and in the work and concern that food, without which there is no life, can be shared and provided.

If you have not yet witnessed the Food Pantry at work, please join us for the next Saturday (12/16) we distribute food. If you are not able to attend or don’t feel physically capable of the work, please consider donating to the Food Pantry. There are so many ways to do that.

The current fundraising project, Paint the Town Red, has 100 red bows to sell that can be purchased with or without an adding of a name in memory or in honor of.

I have found working for the Food Pantry to be a constant renewal of my Baptismal Vows. But more than that it is how I see us furthering our commitment to making peace in this world. Here in the Fellowship Hall, peace lives and love grows.

Deborah Emin 

A Time of Thanksgiving

The Food Pantry at Christ Episcopal Church has much to be thankful for. Not only has God granted us faithful leaders and generous volunteers, but the Food Pantry has given us partners all over Stroudsburg and beyond.


It may be a time of thankfulness but it is also a time of great need. We as a church are responding to that need. We are forming networks of community that ensure, as Fr Bruce often says, “God will provide.” 


We saw it this past food distribution Saturday. The anticipated numbers for that day were 300 families. Even that number is staggering. But just as in Matthew when Jesus turned 5 loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5000, Christ Church fed 431 families because God is good.


Also because Christ Church has many new partners in this food ministry. There were the Boy Scouts, for example, who delivered well over a ton of food for our ministry. A flatbed truck is required to make such a delivery.


There were all the volunteers who put together boxes, filled boxes, filled bags with fresh fruits and vegetables.


This was a cornucopia moment for all. Abundance mixed with love.


And it does not end. It has filled us all.


On Monday, I made a pick up of the donation we weekly receive from Earthlight Natural Food. They had created a food drive for our Food Pantry. Before I went to Earthlight, I was down in Forks, having lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant. I go there often. The owner asked me where I as going to from there. I told her I was going to pick up this donation of food. I told her of the work this amazing food pantry does. She is a very religious woman. She is Lebanese and a Christian. She told me that when I come back next Monday she’ll have baskets for me to take to the food pantry.


All of us are touched by this food ministry. It infuses our church with what Jesus always asks of us—to love one another. God does provide. Amen.

Author: Deborah Emin 

October Quarterly Meeting 2023

October Quarterly Meeting

We gathered on October 18 for the Food Pantry’s Quarterly Meeting. While it has been a couple of weeks since that meeting, the excitement about what we are accomplishing as a community has stayed with me.

The meeting’s agenda was plotted out. We even had a timekeeper to assure we only met for the two hours. Surprise, surprise, we only went over the limit by 10 minutes.

Why am I still so enthusiastic? Let me share the reasons here:

We welcomed many new members to the table who want to help us with the food pantry’s mission.

The testimonials given in support of the work the pantry is doing were inspiring; mentioning of how their spirits were lifted up by the time and effort they gave to the pantry. The most awesome words were how the time was filled with joy and laughter.

As an all-volunteer organization, the food pantry is reliant on folks wanting to show up.

This past Saturday, 24 people showed up to help. And the pantry served more people than they ever had before.

Imagine our Fellowship Hall, the movable shelves filled with non-perishable items and the tables filled with fruits and vegetables. Imagine people shopping for their family’s needs amidst the joy and laughter of a well run but fun ministry that does as Christ asks of us.

It is with that thought of the joyful noise of doing the Lord’s work on these Saturdays (and many other days as well), that the reports at the Quarterly Meeting of what is to come are also giving me the good feelings.

The Holiday Season is upon us. The Paint the Town Red campaign is in full swing. I hope you have already purchased your bow. We’d like volunteers on 11/19 to help remove the Halloween decorations and replace them with the big red bows around Courthouse Square and onto Main Street.

Our upcoming Thanksgiving distribution, 11/18, will also require many volunteers as we hand out the food for the many, many families who rely on us to make their holidays joyous.

We also discussed the holiday events planned for December. Please stay tuned for all that forthcoming information.

Author: Deborah Emin