FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have A Question? Here's An Answer!
How are you different from other food pantries?
We are a Choice Food Pantry which enables people to “shop” through a food selection process, much like a grocery store, rather than receiving pre-packaged bags. Our goal is to create a comfortable, familiar and dignified shopping experience.
The Palmetto Community Food Pantry is a privately run, non-profit organization. The Palmetto Community Food Pantry reserves the right to determine who receives food and how often the pantry may be utilized. The use of the pantry is a privilege not a right.
At this time, we are accepting new client applications. Recipients MUST reside in the Palmetto area.
When are you open? Are you open on holidays?
We are open every Monday, all year, from 4:30 p.m. til 6:00 p.m. Please visit our website home page if you have a question about holiday hours.
If I make a donation, can i decide what my money is used for?
Absolutely. you are free to request what you would like your donation to be used toward at the pantry.
Do you have full time or part time employees?
No. Our program is organized completely by volunteers. The dedication and energy in support of our mission to end hunger never ceases to amaze us! Thanks to our volunteers, we are able to open EVERY Monday from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
In 2019, our volunteers contributed over 2,835 hours of personal time to the pantry, the equivalent of 2 employees working 27.3 hours a week for 52 weeks. Their efforts helped us distribute more than 109,400 pounds of food back to families in and around our community, including seniors, veterans, children, homeless individuals and families. No words can fully express how grateful we are for our volunteers.
Where does the food come from?
Food donations are accepted from local manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, community and corporate food drives and through our community based partners.
Is this a government program?
No, this is not a government program. In 2019, we distributed a monthly average of 9,120 pounds of food to Palmetto families through a network of community-based partners.
Individual donations, grants and corporate donations are the primary sources of funding. Our organization does not depend on government funding or subsidies. Tax-deductible cash donations are critical to underwrite the costs associated with acquiring, transporting, warehousing and distributing food.
How do you decide how much food my family receives?
The amount of food distributed, is based on how much food is donated each week. This differs each week so we don't know until the day of. On average, each family receives staple items, meat, fruit, vegetables, and other items that are available on any given day. Totaling approximately 45+ pounds.
How many people take part in this program?
In 2019, an average of 109,450 pounds of food was distributed to over 2,700 households.
How do I qualify for food? Do I have to pay for it?
There is no cost to receive food. The only qualification for food is that you reside in the Palmetto area, or present a Food Voucher from one of our partners or ministries within the community. For "out of district" families, when our food supply permits, we try to assist with a "one time" distribution and assist in finding a pantry in your location.
People of all income levels struggle, due to different life circumstances and are not disqualified from receiving help. You may receive food once per month.
We also have a list of other pantries that may be able to assist you.
Can i pick up for more than one family?
No. However, sometimes there are circumstances where someone is not able to pick up food. Please call for prior approval before coming to the food pantry.
Where does the extra food go? Do you throw it away?
All extra food is distributed to our local food pantries, senior centers, fire and police departments, homeless shelters, local livestock, etc.
How long has this pantry been in the Palmetto area?
This program began in 1997. God planted an idea in the heart of Mr. Chris Gould. Mr. Gould started and led this program until his passing on March 23, 2017. Over the years, Chris recruited many people to volunteer at the pantry. We are proud to continue his legacy by helping others and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with everyone.
What do i need to bring with me in order to receive food?
Bring your happy smiling face and your photo I.D. & proof of residency (utility bill, lease, etc.). You can help by spreading the word so those who are in need of food assistance, know that this program exists.
Is there a program like this closer to where i live?
There are many communities that take part in the Food Pantry Program. Please ask one of our volunteers if you are looking for a food pantry in your area. You can also find the locations, dates and times at
Do you distribute non food items such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.?
Very, rarely. We do occasionally receive toilet paper, but the majority of the time, we receive 100% food items.
Are you aware that food being distributed is past its "best by" date?
Yes, we are very aware of this. According to the USDA, BEST BY DATE, is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date. If handled and stored properly, most food can be safely consumed well after the date shown. But we ask that you use your best judgment on what you choose to consume or feed your family. As with all food items, please open and inspect before consuming.
Is my food pre bagged?
No, our food is not pre-bagged. We are a Client Choice Food Pantry which enables recipients to “shop” through a food selection process, much like a grocery store, rather than receiving pre-packaged bags. Our goal is to create a comfortable, familiar and dignified shopping experience.
Do you give out Thanksgiving and Christmas meals?
We believe that every family deserves a holiday meal. However, these meals are available ONLY when turkeys or hams are donated to us in time to distribute.
I need volunteer hours for school. Can I volunteer?
You can satisfy your school-service requirement while helping to end hunger in our community. We have volunteer opportunities in our pantry that are very rewarding experiences for students.
I have court ordered hours. Can i volunteer?
We host all kinds of volunteers – individuals, groups, those completing school or religious education requirements, and those that are required to fulfill court ordered community service.
You are welcome to fulfill your court-ordered hours by volunteering. Make sure we are approved by the Court before you volunteer. You will need to be pre-screened and approved before registering and starting your volunteer service.
We accept community service volunteers with non-violent charges. At this time, we are unable to accommodate sex offenders due to children coming to our pantry.
If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us by email or phone.