Feed St. Pete: Pinellas Community Church, An MLK Day of Service project

BY MARCY PALMERI, Contributor

ST. PETERSBURG – Taking action to feed the community, Feed St. Pete, a ministry at Pinellas Community Church, has been feeding residents of St. Petersburg for years. As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, they will open their doors an extra day to help those in need.

“Food and security is a big problem in Pinellas County,” said Food Pantry Manager Jeanette Ringeisen.

Pinellas Community Church, located at 5501 31st St. S., St. Petersburg, feeds more than 100 people each week out of their pantry. It started out of a closet at the church and they are now occupying 1,200 square feet in a warehouse on church grounds to meet the demands of Pinellas County.

The requirements for receiving food from the church pantry are identification and proof that each additional person for whom you are requesting food resides in your home. The pantry feeds according to family size. There are no financial qualifications.

With monies received from the MLK Day of Service project award, Ringeisen feels blessed.

The money will go directly to the purchase of meals that will include rice, lentils and spices. All packaging is done strictly by volunteers.

The pantry is also receiving help through various partnerships such as Feeding America Tampa Bay and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, just to name a couple.

Pinellas County schools are now in the midst of working with the church in order for the students to take food home for the weekend. The food is designed to be able to eat by itself or paired with meat.

The church works closely with a social charity called Feeding Children Everywhere that focuses on empowering and mobilizing people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children. Go to their website at feedingchildreneverywhere.com and click on the “Our Meal” tab to find healthy meal combinations and recipes using the lentils.

Pinellas Community Church is always looking for organizations and individuals to host canned food drives. Ringeisen said the need increases as food insecurity increase.

Weekly, the food pantry is open Tuesdays from 5-6:45 p.m. The pantry manager is actively seeking volunteers.

Their MLK Day of Service project will take place Mon., Jan. 19 between 10-noon. If you are interested in receiving food, please do not forget your identification and proof that each additional person for whom you are requesting food, resides in your home.

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