Our Mission : Provide nourishing food to those in our community who come to our door in need, regardless of religion, race, color, age, sexual identity, national origin, marital or parental status, or disability.
Our Vision: We can be the hands and voice of Jesus to those who are hungry and that we will share all that we have with those who come to us.
Hours of operation: 10:00 am to 11:30 am Wed & Fri each week. Closed on holidays that might fall on those dates.
Pantry Location: In the basement of the middle building on the campus of Good Samaritan Lutheran Church. Our address is 20850 Langley Rd, Lexington Park, MD 20653.
How the Distribution Works: Our customers are allowed to visit the pantry only one day per week, either Wednesday or Friday. We use a punch card system for control. We provide a plastic grocery bag to each customer after they are checked in and allow them to chose one canned meat item. They are then free to take whatever they need from the shelves with the exception of a few items that we ration (peanut butter, jelly, cereal). When we are stocked with frozen meat items each person is allowed one item of their choice. We serve about one hundred-fifty customers per week and estimate that the food feeds about 300 people.
Where do we get the food?
• Individual donations
• Organizations, such as, the Boy Scouts, local businesses, NAS Pax
• Other churches
• The Southern Maryland Food Bank in Waldorf
We are a member of the Southern Maryland Food Bank and are able to purchase food from them at $0.18/pound. As funds are available and food is in stock at the Food Bank we can load our vehicles and bring the food back to the pantry for distribution. Our regular pick up date is Monday provided the Food Bank is stocked. Local merchants provide food periodically through programs like “Stuff the Bus” that Walmart sponsors. We partner with St Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, located in the first building on our property in sharing food that comes from all donations so that restaurant sized cans go to them and the standard family sized portions come to the pantry.
Why is the Need so Great? If you have never been hungry this is a question that might seem hard to answer. Even though we live in a community that appears very affluent, there are those living very near to us who struggle each day to pay rent, utilities, medical and food costs. Often it is a matter of choosing which bills to pay and which to defer. Even with the many social safety net programs we have in this country, all needs cannot be met. Our customers come from many backgrounds, family situations, and health circumstances. Our pantry is located within walking distance of three Title 1 schools which means that at least 50% of the students qualify for meal assistance through the schools at some level. The total amount of food distributed through our pantry for 2015 exceeded 49,000 pounds. We are blessed to be so near those in need.
How can you help?
- Donate food – call the church office to schedule deliveries for a time when the pantry is not open at 301-863-4740.
- Make financial donations (give) so that we can buy food through the Southern Maryland Food Bank. Make checks payable to GSLC marked for Food Pantry. These contributions are tax deductible.
- Donate your time to help serve at the pantry to welcome our customers, restock shelves, or pick up food from our many sources.
- Refer others to this ministry who might need help, but does not know where to go or who to ask.
Good Samaritan Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and we believe that we should live out our Christian faith by serving others and addressing social issues. For more information about the ELCA go to www.elca.org and for more information about Good Samaritan go to our website at www.goodsam.community
Our church office can be reached at 301-863-4740 or on the web at firstname.lastname@example.org
The family of Good Samaritan Lutheran Church welcomes all to gather and grow, give of themselves and go into the world to serve as disciples of Jesus Christ.