RESTORE’s food pantry and thrift store operate with the help of dedicated volunteers and generous donations.

Through the gracious help of volunteers and donations, Riverview United Methodist Church (UMC) operates RESTORE, a food pantry and thrift store. Every week, volunteers distribute food and clothing to local families in need from its pantry.

RESTORE’s food pantry and thrift store are open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon, serving between 50-100 people. The food pantry is available to everyone with a valid photo ID and proof of address. Eligible zip codes are 33578, 33510, 33579, 33511, 33569, 33534 and 33619.

The thrift store sales average $186 per month and help support the food pantry. To supplement, RESTORE also holds a quarterly yard sale with donated items from church members and neighbors.

In addition to the USDA food it receives through Feeding America, the church receives perishable food items from surpluses at Winn-Dixie, Save-A-Lot, Publix and Pizza Hut.

Recently, South Shore UMC partnered with Riverview UMC to help fight hunger in the Riverview area. South Shore UMC collects nonperishable items and delivers them to the RESTORE food pantry.

RESTORE is always in need of more volunteers to work in the food pantry and thrift store as well as to serve meals. On Tuesdays, RESTORE serves a free, hot lunch provided by Metropolitan Ministries from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in its fellowship hall.

“I have seen the Lord at RESTORE on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where our respectful volunteers are helping people at Riverview United Methodist Church,” said Pastor Louis Telcy of Riverview UMC.

Last Thanksgiving, RESTORE spent more than $4,000 on turkeys and Thanksgiving trimmings. The outreach event depleted its funds, but through the grace of God, Rice Creek Chapel Association, a neighborhood manufactured home park, donated $1,000 to keep the pantry operating.

Along with volunteers, RESTORE readily accepts nonperishable food items such as pasta, sauces, soups and canned vegetables and fruits. It also welcomes toiletry items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, feminine products, shampoos, conditioners, toilet paper and razors. Donations can be dropped off during pantry and store hours.

For any questions on how to donate or volunteer, please email rvrviewumc@tampabay.rr.com or call Claire Bryington at 741-2222. Riverview UMC is located at 8002 US Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview. For more information, please visit www.riverviewflumc.org.