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St. Pete food pantry grows from small closet to warehouse to help serve 500 people every week

Posted: 5:12 AM, Nov 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-12 05:22:46-05
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Going to the food pantry has become a Tuesday ritual for 68-year-old Janice Wise.

Wise retired after working 30 years at Bayfront Medical Center, and she said she couldn’t get through her week without going.

"Well I'm on a fixed income and if it wasn't for these pantries I don't know how I'd make it," Janice said.

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"Every Tuesday morning she comes bright and early. One of the first ones here. Always good to see her face," said Bryan Sampson, who oversees Feed St. Pete — the food pantry of Pinellas Community Church. "There's so many people depending on this pantry for food, that's kind of what wakes me up each day. To try and give back."

The pantry’s grown to feed 500 people every week, of course it wasn’t always this way.

"It was my vision, I spoke to the pastor, and we keep persevering and this is what it is today," said Annette Burke.

Burke started the food pantry out of what was basically a walk-in closet.

"We would leave on a Tuesday there's nothing on the shelf and through faith and hope a donation came in and it's still coming."

Faith, hope and now many donations from local stores and members of the church keep the pantry going.

"Because we're called to do that, I think as individuals we're called to have a part in this role of giving back to helping people out, one of those things I've always had in me," Sampson said.

Feed St. Pete is always accepting donations, and if you or someone you know is in need of help visit the organization's website for more information.