In 1982, local churches organized and established the Juniata County Food Pantry to provide short term, emergency assistance to county residents in need of food. The goal was, and is, to work with other community agencies to eliminate the possibility of any person in our community going hungry. We are not a government agency, and we rely on community support to operate.
In 2007, the Pantry was serving an average of 47 families, or 173 individuals, per month. We were housed in a 900 sq ft basement in Industrial Park.
By 2009, the number of families we were serving tripled to 151 (509 individuals) per month. Supplies and food were parceled out across the county - and as far away as Reedsville! - because of the vastly increased need, and lack of storage space. Prayer for more space and cold storage was answered by the end of the year, when we were able to purchase the former Stong's Auto Parts building at 114 N Main Street, in Mifflintown. We now had 3000 square feet of space, plus 3000 square feet of storage in the basement! We now had plenty of space, but were still storing cold and frozen items off-site because we had insufficient cold storage. We accepted donations of used freezers and refrigerators that were helpful, but far from ideal.
Not long after the Lord blessed us with the space we so desperately needed, He delivered more mouths to feed. By 2012, the number of clients we served doubled yet again, to 309 families, or 921 individuals. Per month. Every month.
Later in 2012, we managed to pay off the mortgage for the building! We had been praying for a walk-in cooler/freezer and those wheels were set in motion.
By mid-2013, the number of clients began to level off, and we were serving an average of 331 families, or 985 individuals per month. This is SEVEN TIMES the number of clients we had just five and a half years. By the end of 2013, we were blessed with a walk-in cooler and freezer, which enables us to keep produce fresh longer, and we can now store all frozen foods on site. This was particularly wonderful when we were dealing with 800 frozen turkeys over the Thanksgiving and Christmas meal distributions!
The number of families we serve is once again climbing, due to a "perfect storm" of economic, political, and social factors. In December 2013, we served 375 families, or 1080 individuals. Now, more than ever, we need the support of the community to provide food for our friends and neighbors.
We are governed by a Board of Directors, representing a variety of area churches. The Board meets at 7:00 on the third Tuesday of each month, at the Pantry. All are welcome to attend!
Board of Directors
The mission of the Juniata County Food Pantry is to serve God by serving His children. We provide emergency short term food needs and training in food preparation/nutrition for Juniata County residents.