Miss Virginia's Food Pantry is located in the former residence of Virginia Schrantz at 1312 S. Hanna St. For over forty years she opened her heart and home to the poor and needy. Her home became known simply as "Miss Virginia's" to those she helped. Virginia Schrantz believed in serving everyone in need. Her selfless work eventually gave a voice to the members of society in need of support. She inspired greater community involvement from schools and other organizations to help with her mission. The pantry is open twice a week on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Virginia Schrantz and her work were recognized during Mother Teresa's visit to her home in 1982. She was also the recipient of the International Service to Mankind Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in 1992. Virginia Schrantz passed away in 1998, but her mission continues through Miss Virginia's Food Pantry.
The Balanced and Nutritional Food Program is the very heart and soul of Miss Virginia's Food Pantry. It is a commitment to provide only healthy food to the families and households that come to the food pantry seeking assistance. Those households using the food pantry for food assistance are the poorest and most needy families in Fort Wayne. Every client who comes to the food pantry receives a healthy meat product, eggs, canned vegetables and/or canned fruits, bread and a variety of fresh produce. Only a limited amount of these food items are provided through government food commodities or through community donations. Consequently, the bulk of the food needed must be purchased.
The yearly budget for the Balanced and Nutritional Food Program is slightly more than $100,000. Raising the needed amount of funding each year is a daunting task for an all-volunteer organization so every donation helps. Miss Virginia's Food Pantry has been blessed to have a number of local charitable organizations help in raising the necessary funds each year. Organizations such as the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, Greater Community Foundation of Fort Wayne, Parkview Physicians Group, Journal Gazette Foundation and more than a hundred individual and business donations contribute to the sustained program that feeds the community. The volunteers at Miss Virginia's are deeply appreciative of all those who help fund this vital program regardless of the donation amount.
Members of the Board are:
President: Dan McNamara
Vice President: Bob Meyer
Treasurer: Julie Crouch
Secretary: Kathy Callen
Pantry Director: Greg Witte