What happens next?

For our clients

When a family’s circumstances lead them to MCUM’s Self-Sufficiency Center, they’re greeted in our waiting room and asked to fill out a brief application for services. Not only does the application invite the client to share some key details about their unique situation (such as their current stressors and number of household members), it also informs them of the myriad of services MCUM offers.

For instance, though many clients have heard of our food pantry, it’s only one way to help our neighbors through a difficult time. Other services include access to our cleaning and hygiene supply closet – which is also supplied by donations – as well as vouchers for gently-used clothing and household goods from our sister agency and secondhand store, The Opportunity House. We also offer financial assistance for rent and utility bills to qualified clients, as well as our licensed and accredited childcare program, the Compass Early Learning Center. All of these services (and more) are listed on the application for clients to request.

Clients then meet individually and privately with our Self-Sufficiency Coaches, who serve as confidants,  motivators, mentors, and resource providers. They offer clients access to all of MCUM’s resources, as well as referrals to agency partners and information about what other public or non-profit programs could help them on their path to self-sufficiency. This includes other local food pantries.

Perhaps most importantly, Coaches treat clients with the empathy and respect they deserve, recognizing that it often takes not only a dire situation, but also courage to ask for help. Coaches listen and respond to each family’s unique circumstances, offering a personalized approach to help clients confront their challenges and, with time and support, overcome them.

After meeting with a Coach, clients can visit MCUM’s client-choice food pantry. MCUM’s pantry allows clients to select items from a wide selection of donated products and resembles a one-room grocery store. Like-items are categorized together, and clients select a variety of products from each category. Amount limits are determined by family size. At the conclusion of their shopping trip, clients have one full bag of groceries per person in their family (i.e. a family of three leaves with three full grocery bags) – enough food to feed a local family for 3 full days (see photo below).

Pantry Pano ST

For our supporters

MCUM’s food pantry is a shared community resource by the people of Monroe County and for the people of Monroe County. If you’re feeling inspired, there are several ways you can get involved:

  • Donate – The easiest and quickest way to make a difference in MCUM’s pantry is by donating non-perishable food or cleaning and hygiene supplies, or by making a financial contribution to MCUM. All food in MCUM’s pantry is provided by the generosity of our donors through in-kind contributions or financial support that allows us to secure food in bulk from local grocers or the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
  • Host a Food Drive – Expand your giving by activating your network of supporters. Congregations, civic groups, social organizations, and even families have hosted food drives for MCUM in the past. There’s no need to wait for one of our annual community drives: Host your own drive of any size and contact us to arrange a delivery or pick-up. You can also reach out for guidance on how to make your drive a success or to obtain an up-to-date wishlist of our most pressing needs.
  • Volunteer – Did you know that MCUM’s pantry is entirely volunteer-run? From stocking shelves to serving clients, sorting donations to quality control, every task in our pantry is regularly performed by our dedicated team of pantry volunteers. Come serve your community with us and improve the lives of your neighbors in need; join our volunteer team today!