Community Food Pantry, Inc
by Tom Brown
The Community Food Pantry, Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is sponsored by several area churches. The pantry is located at the First Parish United Church of Christ (Congregational) through the generosity of its pastor and parishioners.
The pantry serves the needy of Somersworth, Berwick and Rollinsford by providing non-perishable groceries and frozen meat products to nearly three hundred families each month. The eligibility criteria used to qualify for assistance is that suggested by the USDA. The hours of operation are Monday 10 am-noon; Wednesday 6-8 pm and Thursday 3-5 pm. Over sixty volunteers assist in the overall operation which continues to be blessed by the surrounding communities which provide support in the form of monetary and food donations.
The pantry was initially organized by Pastor Mark Rideout. For many years, the effort was coordinated by Beryle Garneau who, after many years, passed the reins to Pat Whitten. The current Directors of the pantry are Tom and Diane Brown.
The pantry operates under the guidelines set forth in its by-laws as established by a Board of Directors consisting of members representing the sponsoring churches. The officers of the Board presently serving are: David Vachon, Chairman; Richard Shepherd, Treasurer and Gloria DeRoy, Secretary.