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Sharing is caring: Shepherdstown Shares reopens food pantry in permanent location

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Nov 13, 2020

Shepherdstown Shares food pantry coordinator Cari Simon fills a shopping cart with food on Saturday afternoon, as fellow Shepherdstown residents Diana Eldridge, Carrie Singer and Katie Porter look on. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Shepherdstown Shares has housed a food pantry in Lellybelle Community Cafe for those effected by the pandemic. On Saturday, that food pantry opened its doors in a permanent, larger location — Trinity Episcopal Church’s chapel, on the corner of West German Street and Church Street.

According to food pantry coordinator Cari Simon, now that the food pantry has a location that can house large amounts of food and hygiene products, Shepherdstown Shares intends for the pantry to remain open for the long-term, past the end of the pandemic. Currently, it is open to anyone living within the 25443 zip code, struggling to afford food and other living essentials. No one who fits those credentials will be turned away.

“We’ve only had one client so far today, but we just opened,” Simon said, mentioning that the day before the pantry opened, Shepherdstown Shares gave a week’s worth of food to 10 local families.

While those who come for food are not required to present personal identification, they are expected to wear face masks or put on the free ones the food pantry provides. To further avoid spreading the coronavirus, the food pantry requires those coming for food or hygiene supplies to wait outside of its doors, while its volunteers fill grocery bags for them. Dietary concerns, such as food allergies or vegetarianism, can be easily accommodated by the food pantry.

“They’ll be given everything they need for a week,” Simon said. “With the pandemic going on, this has given me something useful to do, that is meaningful.”

Shepherdstown residents Rie Wilson, left, and Didi Jacot de Boinod wait outside of Shepherdstown Shares' new food pantry location with food application forms. Tabitha Johnston

Simon attributed Shepherdstown Shares President Marianne Davis for coming up with the idea for the food pantry. Davis herself gave credit for the success of the venture to the many community organizations that helped turn her idea into a reality, including: Trinity Episcopal Church’s pastors, Jefferson County Community Ministries, the Charles Town Martin’s, the Shepherdstown Food Lion, the Clarion Inn, the Bavarian Inn and the Shepherdstown chapter of Women’s March. A number of community members have personally donated funds to Shepherdstown Shares, along with shelving, freezers and refrigerators, which have been used to organize and preserve the pantry’s food.

“We have had two weeks of nonstop blessings here!” Davis said, mentioning the produce that does go bad in the food pantry is given to a local farmer to feed his pigs.

Shepherdstown Shares’ food pantry is open on Mondays, from 12:30-3:30 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 3-6 p.m. For more information, visit shepherdstownshares.org or email shepshares@gmail.com. Send checks payable to Shepherdstown Shares, P.O. Box 1780 Shepherdstown, WV 25443.

Shelves in Shepherdstown Shares' new food pantry are stocked with food for those in need. Tabitha Johnston