Bread of Life Pantry in Baldwin increases families served in 2022

End of year donations help meet local needs

BALDWIN — Bread of Life Pantry in Baldwin continues to serve those in the community in need of a helping hand with the aide of many local volunteers and donations.

Director Lynne Mills said the pantry has had a very busy year with increased utilization of the services they provide by local families.

“The increased utilization of our pantry has been challenging, yet God is mighty to provide,” Mills said. “With our 40 volunteers and many donation partners, we keep this important ministry going.”

Bread of Life Pantry served 6,221 family visits in 2022, up nearly 1,700 from the previous year, Mills said. Those family visits included 20,978 people, 8,129 children, 5,574 seniors, 1.100 veterans and 271 homeless – 420 of whom were new to the pantry.

Volunteers spent 7,513 hours sharing over 18,700 bags of groceries.

“We had such a wonderful year, even with the increase in families utilizing the pantry,” Mills said. “While the numbers are remarkable, we remember them as people our neighbors, who need a hand. Good job team for showing that kind of love of Jesus to our neighbors.”

Among the many exciting things happening at Bread of Life Pantry this year, was the Baldwin High School Student Council food drive and money collection over the Christmas holiday. They collected 5 shopping carts full of food and $400.

Additionally, the crew at The Meat Shack donated over 2,000 pounds of donated venison to the pantry.

“With a limited staff, they were not able to process all the venison that was donated,” Mills said. “However, they did share some and our families really appreciate that we have venison available to share with them. Thank you, Johnny and crew.”

The Baldwin Garden Club also collected donations of food at their annual Christmas gathering to donate to the pantry, and the pantry received a pallet lift to help unload donations as they come in.

“Jim Kline (treasurer of St. Vincent DePaul in Grand Rapids) partners with a donation partner biweekly to deliver a truckload of food,” Mills said. “He has been bringing our donations for four years and found a lift to help with the process. He is very involved in making a difference in many communities.”