A Look Inside Prodisee Pantry

You know that feeling you get when you think you know a lot about something, but then you quickly get put into your place of being a little too confident on that issue? Yeah… that happened to me this week. 

Before I share this story, let me go back a few weeks in time. We at EasternShoreAL.com and Blue Fish Design Studio decided to help out our friends at the Prodisee Pantry here on the Eastern Shore by giving their website a new face-lift. We met with Director Deann Servos gathering all the necessary information we need to make sure their new site is the best it can be to better inform members of our community about their events, their needs and their services. But as we started getting into the facts of all that this organization does for our community, I was stunned. Speechless. And I felt a dire need to HELP!

So this past Tuesday morning, the regular pick-up day for Prodisee “customers”, I joined the volunteer crew and was changed. I think my husband may have thought I was a little crazy for using that term when I texted him after my “shift” ended that morning, but it was true. My outlook  on my community and my inner core was changed. I saw how our neighbors - people we share our schools, stores, streets and parks with - are in need and suffering. And I saw how Deann’s vision she had in 2003 has produced such an amazing service for so, so many. Deann added, "the Prodisee Pantry's Board of Directors saw the vision, shared in and supported it whole heartedly.  Without them, and all of the volunteers, Prodisee Pantry wouldn't be what it has grown to be."

Many of us in this area know of the Prodisee Pantry. Like me, you may have children whose school or church groups have even assisted, but I would be willing to bet that many of you don’t really know what they do and the services they provide each person that walks through their doors each and every Tuesday morning. Take a look:

Did You Know? Key Facts About Prodisee Pantry (2014)

  • 424 tons of food was distributed into Baldwin County
  • an average of 1,000 families were serviced per month
  • 11,901 family visits and 28,562 individuals in 2014
  • 8,481 children had healthy foods to eat
  • 6,664 seniors didn’t have to chose between buying food or paying for utilities or prescriptions
  • 1,315 NEW families were the new faces of hunger
  • 40 tons of produce, averaging six fresh fruits and vegetables per family 
  • 40% families from North Baldwin County, 35% from the Eastern Shore, 15% from Central Baldwin, 10% from South Baldwin
  • 16 on-site supportive programs partnered with Prodisee Pantry: GED, South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers, SNAP, Council on Aging, Housing First, NAMI and more
  • 1,919 volunteers served over 31,000 hours
  • Prodisee Pantry was able to turn a monetary gift of $21 into $120 worth of food for families
  • only 5% administrative overhead cost

One of the items listed above is the supportive programs that partner with Prodisee Pantry. Each Tuesday, some corporations set up a “mini job fair”, offering the people that seek assistance from the Pantry the opportunity to interview for jobs. One former Prodisee Pantry visitor is now in a supervisory role at a local Waffle House restaurant! I can’t stress enough the areas Prodisee Pantry covers, and to such a vast extent.

There’s so much more I could share about this amazing organization… so, I’m thinking maybe a “Part II” to come soon.  In the meantime, maybe each of you reading this will consider volunteering a little of your own time (or forwarding to someone you know who may like to help). Better yet, are you taking part in any service projects with your children this summer? ‘A couple things for you to consider.

If you’re a business owner or part of a corporation, consider taking part in Prodisee Pantry’s current campaign #MayDay2015 #ForOurHungry Challenge. Check their website or their Facebook page for more information on that campaign.

Contact Prodisee Pantry to find out about all of the different ways that you can help. And if you’re reading this and you or someone you know could use assistance, please reach out:

9315 Spanish Fort Blvd ( Hwy 31)

Spanish Fort, AL  36527

Phone: (251) 626-1720

Email: volunteer@prodiseepantry.org

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