Please note that these FAQs were relevant pre-COVID-19 and may not be now. For the most updated information click here.
How often can clients come?
Generally, our package of groceries is picked up by clients once a month. Depending on the particular circumstances of a household, some clients may pick up groceries more frequently. Clients will know after meeting with a staff person in the office how often they can come.
All clients are welcome to come to the Center once a week in order to select bread and fresh produce as available.
When is the best time to come?
Because clients can choose any day within a month to pick up food, we cannot predict which days will be busier than others. However, the first days and the last days of the month are often the busiest. On any day, clients should be prepared to share our space with others and wait to be served by our volunteers. We encourage clients to consider picking up food during the second half of any shift, which is often a less busy time.
What if clients arrive before the pantry is open?
We encourage clients to arrive at the pantry only during our hours for food distribution and not to arrive early. The pantry opens and closes on schedule every day, so if clients choose to arrive early, they will not be able to come into the building.
What do clients need to bring?
Every time clients come to pick up food, even if they have been here before, they should bring proof of address and proof of children.
Proof of Address can be a license, utility bill, rent receipt, or anything with the clients name and current address on it.
Proof of Children can be anything which shows that the child is living in the client’s household – for example, a current health card, or a piece of mail from school with the child’s name and address. If a client isn’t sure what to bring, we can help them figure it out on their first visit.
The City of Northampton Single Use Plastic Bag Ban went into effect on January 1, 2016. Clients are encouraged to bring their own cloth or other type of bags. The Center frequently has cardboard boxes available for carrying groceries.
I appreciate the wonderful, kind volunteers, the fact the place exists for help with food and clothes, the patience, amiableness and warmth with the people here and their aim to accommodate. – NSC Client