Food pantries may be smaller parts of service agencies that provide a number of service to clients. Because of this, they can lack organization and be negligent in some departments. It can be overwhelming to run a program that provides multifaceted support for a large number of people. Similarly, not knowing the most efficient methods to run this type of organization can lead to this lack imbalance of resources and attention. We recommend improving staffing so that each department is equally represented, serviced, and maintained.
Some food pantries require users to qualify for government standards of food insecurity in order to receive support. In order to serve as many people as possible, they may combine resources from donations and government funding. Once the small amount of government food provided runs out, the pantry is successful only on its donations. This means, if there are no donations, there is no food for people in severe need. In partnering with several pantries in the Richmond community, we notice that government and private donations tend to be the usual non-perishables. Because of this, fresh produce from Shalom Farms goes unused as there is a lack of information amongst the pantries and the users. Pantry users view canned and boxed foods as better choices because they are more familiar and require less time and energy to prepare in their opinion. However, we see this as an opportunity for Shalom Farms to educate clients and pantries about their produce and why it is a more judicious option.