In 1989 a group of 8-10 people from the St. Vincent De Paul Society of Holy Trinity Church realized that they could not keep up with financial aid to people who needed food so they decided to start a pantry. They ran a food drive over the 4th of July weekend, rented a small store front and opened for business on August 8, 1989. They paid the rent on the storefront by collecting the bottles and cans which could be redeemed for a nickel! Fast forward several years later and the pantry is a non-profit, non-denominational organization, staffed by over 300 volunteers and 1 full time and 2 part time staff members housed in a large warehouse that is owned by the pantry. The Greater Boston Food Bank comes to the pantry 4 days a month with two large tractor trailers full of food for distribution to the 30 pantries/soup kitchens on the Cape & Islands. The Family Pantry of Cape Cod currently serves close to 1100 households each month and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings.
The pantry founders had no idea how the pantry would grow but based on their leadership we have remained true to our mission and guiding principles. The pantry's mission is very simple. We provide food and clothing to those in need without any limitations based on race, gender, age, residence or sexual orientation. We also remain committed to using all donations for our food program unless the donor specifies otherwise. Lastly for most of our history the pantry was an all volunteer organization. As the pantry grew and the volunteers got older this became more difficult and there is now one full time staff member, the Executive Director and two part time staff members the Assistant Director and the Warehouse Supervisor, but the heart of the pantry is still the dedicated volunteers who now number over 300!