Pantry numbers

May 18, 2011

The beginning of the month of May marked the beginning of the new Oakley Food Pantry service year.  On the first Tuesday of the month we got possession of the big book where all of the records are kept of who visited when and how often, and Violet diligently went through it to produce some year end totals.  Here is what we discovered:

In the last year the Oakley Food Pantry served 197 households, 441 people (average household size served, appox. 2.5 people).  Of these 441 people, 126 were children and 30 were seniors.  There were a total of 1089 visits to the pantry, meaning the average household came about 5.5 times; also meaning that on an average week about 20 households visited the pantry (keeping things fairly busy in the hour window that it is open each week).  Interestingly, 72 households came for just one or two visits.  53 households were at or over the nine visit limit (once a household visits the pantry nine times in a year they are only permitted to come once a month).  I believe there are a little over 10,000 people in Oakley, which means that about 1 of every 23 Oakley residents accessed the food pantry in some way in the past year.

This is the first year that we have full-year totals, so it’s hard to sense trends.  We do have totals for eight months of the previous year which indicate that the demands this year were probably slightly higher than the year before.

Numbers are what they are – not particularly emotionally moving, but helpful and enlightening.  There continues to be significant need in our neighborhood and the Food Pantry continues to be one of the key ways that our neighbors are supplementing their food resources.  One of the good moves that the pantry has made in the past year has been a relationship with Rempke Biggs of Hyde Park Plaza which is supplying us with milk and meat — protein!

While it’s great for us to be a part of an important ministry like this, my perspective is always that the ultimate mission will be fulfilled when the pantry is no longer needed.  Until then we’ll continue to give food, money, and time to this important ministry in Oakley.

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