A community gathering and chance to help others will be offered May 11 when the United Church of Ellicottville’s food pantry hosts a fundraiser. Annie Widger, a pantry volunteer, said an Ellicottville pantry has been in existing for more than 20 years. Some new changes have been put in place in hopes of improving the pantry, however, she said.
Mrs. Widger said the pantry has recently become affiliated with Cattaraugus Community Action and the Food Bank of Western New York so it can gain access to United States Department of Agriculture foods, along with other free and low-cost food items. The affiliation, she said, also allows the all-volunteer pantry staff to apply for grants to help it defray costs.
Despite the changes, she said, pantry staff is always in need of more help, including a way to defray costs.
Therefore, the 6 p.m. fundraiser at the United Church of Ellicottville will include a dinner consisting of donated grass-fed beef and local produce.
“This meal sounds amazing,” said Mrs. Widger. There will also be basket raffle and 50/50. The pantry’s staff is asking for a donation of $10 per meal, There are other reasons to come to the fundraiser, too, she said.
“It’s a chance to gather with others in support of a common goal,” she said.
Mrs. Widger said the funds raised will be used to help keep the pantry stocked and running and allow it to improve and grow, along with offering more proteins it will purchase with funds raised.
The pantry serves Ellicottville and the surrounding communities. About 30 families, or about 125 people, use the pantry monthly, she said, adding they can come once a month to get a three-day supply of food, unless special circumstances prevail. The three-day emergency food boxes, she said, equate to about nine meals people can obtain per visit.
The pantry is open from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays, from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and by appointment. For more information about the pantry or for pre-sale tickets, call 699-4003