When we opened our food pantry in November 2011, we didn’t know what to expect, as it was a new venture for Woodley House. We knew the residents of our supported independent living apartment program would welcome it, as they were the impetus for our starting it in the first place. They told us how difficult it was sometimes to just put food on the table at the end of the month, forcing some to have to decide between medication and food.
Although our life skills trainers work with each resident concerning the importance of planning and budgeting, even the best planners sometimes come up short at the end of the month. Our food pantry is a wonderful safety net when things get tight.
It is open every Tuesday from 1 pm to 2:45 pm and is located at Valenti House on Connecticut Avenue, NW. It is open to all DC residents.
When we first opened dour doors, most of the people who came to the food pantry were from our Woodley House apartment program, with just a few from the community. However, over the past six months, that has changed dramatically and with recent cuts to the Food Stamp Program, we predict we may see many more DC neighbors in need. In fact, in the past 3 months, the number of community participants has more than doubled!
There has also been an uptick in calls to our administrative office asking about the food pantry. One young woman called and said she had seen our food pantry sign and wanted to know if she could possibly come by, even if it wasn’t on our regularly scheduled Tuesday, “because I’m just so hungry.”
We are happy that we were there for her and for so many who need just a little extra help.