Hunger Ministry

Recipient Survey

We ask all those in the 20895 ZIP code area who receive grocery support from St. Paul's to please fill out a survey, so we can plan the best way to serve our community moving forward.

Please CLICK HERE for the survey in English.

Les pedimos a todas las personas en el área del código postal 20895 que reciben apoyo de comestibles de St. Paul's que completen una encuesta, para que podamos planificar la mejor manera de servir a nuestra comunidad en el futuro.

Haga CLIC AQUÍ para la encuesta en español.

food assistance

Until further notice, there will be NO in-person grocery distribution or meal at St. Paul's. Grocery store cards will be mailed to regular recipients. 

Here are resources for the 20895 ZIP code:

Bethesda Help will deliver a three-day supply of food to individuals or families living in the 20895 ZIP code, no questions asked, usually within 24 hours of the request. If your family needs an emergency delivery of food, please call 301-365-2022. In addition to serving those living in the 20895 ZIP code area, Bethesda Help serves other ZIP codes. Visit their website for more information about their supports and service area. 

McLean Bible Church is distributing food at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays at Rock Creek Elementary School and at 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays at Veirs Mill Elementary School. These and other locations are listed on their website.

Mid-County United Ministries (MUM) is offering mobile pantries on Sundays. Dates and locations can be found at

For other questions about St. Paul's resources, contact the church office at

hunger ministry

we are all about feeding people in body and spirit. 

St Paul’s Hunger Ministry feeds over 115 families in the 20895 zip code. 

We serve families who struggle to make ends meet and put food on their tables. 

Upcoming Distribution: 

RECIPIENTS: Until further notice, Hunger Ministry clients will receive grocery store gift cards through the mail. The gift card amount has temporarily increased. We will NOT provide grocery items for pick-up, deliveries, or a meal. This reduces the risk of spreading illness at a distribution site while providing flexibility for clients to purchase whatever grocery-store items they deem essential for their families. 

DONORS: You can help support the Hunger Ministry with monetary donations ( We have seen supply-chain problems sourcing the amount of non-perishable pantry staples we'll need when on-site distribution resumes. Please consider setting aside donations now. The Most-Needed Items list is below! We will re-open a drop-off and distribution process as soon as we can find a way to do so safely.

Please note: All events are subject to change as we respond to the evolving COVID-19 corona-virus outbreak. Updates will be posted here.

One thing we have learned: area food banks are desperate for help year-round. People respond well during the holiday season when food pantries fill to the brim. But as the year unfolds, the need remains while the shelves empty. To meet this need, the St. Paul's Justice and Compassion Team invites you to contribute generously each month. 


We are assessing how to revamp our program while we are closed due to COVID-19. Under our previous operating conditions, friends of St. Paul's fill our donation bins with non-perishable foods on Communion Sunday, the 1st Sunday of each month, and volunteers transport food from the Narthex to the Fellowship Hall, sort grocery items, and organize bags. On the following day, volunteers arrive at 6:45 p.m. to set up for Monday night distribution. Additional food sorting, greeting recipients, serving a hot meal, and working on seasonal projects are all possible tasks. Our volunteer drivers deliver food to recipients who are home-bound. 

To get involved, contact the church office: Erin Steele, office administrator, will get your message to our Hunger Ministry coordinators, and they'll find the best ways for you to be involved!


There are no on-site distribution events currently due to COVID-19. Food recipients for our program must have an address in the 20895 ZIP code area. To sign up, contact the church office at or phone 301-933-7911 EXT 511 and provide your name and a call-back telephone number. We are currently providing grocery store gift cards by mail. Please contact Bethesda Help to request a delivery of grocery items to your door: 301-365-2022. 

Under normal operations, we provide a hot meal and grocery items once a month. Families with children may also select free children's books. Special Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts for children are offered seasonally. Here's how to receive assistance here during normal operations:

  • Recipients should arrive at the Fellowship Hall entrance (on the corner of Fawcett & Mitchell Streets) at 7:30 p.m. on Distribution Nights (the Monday following the first Sunday of each month). To stay on top of any schedule changes due to holidays, please check this site or the paper letter distributed each month along with the food.
  • New recipients should bring a piece of mail or other evidence showing an address in the 20895 area. That's it! There are no income requirements, no need for referrals... we'll feed anyone living in the 20895 ZIP code area.
  • Please note, our program is limited to those who live within the 20895 ZIP code. (Please see the section below for other resources if you don't have a 20895 address.)
  • If you cannot attend on distribution night, please call 301-933-7933 ext 511 before 12:00 noon on distribution day, to request a pick up in the church office during the week. 
  • We have a limited capacity to offer home delivery to those who are disabled or home-bound - please contact us to discuss this possibility.


We welcome non-perishable food, Safeway & Giant grocery store gift cards ($20 value each, please), and financial donations any time. 

Food Donation Suggestions 

  • Non-perishable food items can be placed in bins in the church Narthex when the church is open. 
  • We always need the pantry staples listed on the shopping/packing "Bag #1 and Bag #2" lists (see below).
  • We especially need cold and hot cereals. 
  • ALL unopened, shelf-stable donations are appreciated. Bottle of olive oil? Box of pancake mix? Granola bars? Crackers? Nuts? We'll take it!
  • Please make sure all donations are not expired or beyond their use-by date!

You can help streamline our sorting process by packing a full bag of essential food items using the guide below. Please attach a number to your filled bag so we know when it's ready to distribute - no additional sorting or packing needed!

Bag #1  

Rice - 1 bag or large box or 2 small boxes

Beans - 1 bag or 2 cans

Pasta - 1 box or bag

Pasta Sauce - 1 large jar or can

Mac & Cheese - 2 boxes

Chicken Breast - 1 or 2 cans

Tuna (or other fish) - 2 cans

Bag #2

Vegetables - 3 cans

Fruit (including applesauce) - 2 cans or jars

Peanut Butter - 1 jar

Jelly or Jam - 1 jar or bottle

Soup - 2 or 3 cans


Please deliver donations when the church is open. We are currently closed due to COVID-19. Under normal operations, the church is open on Sunday mornings, or throughout the work week Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Food is normally sorted on the first Sunday of the month; food is distributed to families the following day. We look forward to being able to resume on-site, in-person operations once we can find a way to do so safely.

Resources for those outside our service area

We provide food, a meal, and children's books to those living in the 20895 ZIP code. Defining our service area allows us to scale our program in a sustainable way. All families who receive food through St. Paul's are asked to show proof of address once a year - we do not ask for any proof of income, citizenship, or any personal information beyond that and do not share our clients' information.

For assistance if your address is outside of our 20895-ZIP code area, or in addition to the Hunger Ministry food aid we offer, here are some helpful resources. (Please note: St. Paul's UMC is not affiliated with these organizations nor responsible for their services or policies.)

Food Drive: THank you!

We are so pleased to be able to partner with co-sponsors Bethesda Help, the Nighthawks band, and the Town of Kensington - and YOU! 

Because of your generosity, the Food Drive held at Kensington Town Hall on Sunday, May 17 resulted in sufficient donations to restock the Bethesda Help pantry, plus financial support through $580 in checks, $22 in cash, and 5 Safeway gift cards. 

While St. Paul's is closed and our Hunger Ministry in-person distribution has been temporarily suspended, we are re-routing food donations to our partner, Bethesda Help. Bethesda Help continues to serve families in the 20895 ZIP code. Rest assured that the food items that were in our pantry have gone to feed hungry members of our community!

National UMC & Campus Kitchens

Making Meals Possible

For over two years, St. Paul's has served a hot dinner at our Hunger Ministry monthly food distribution. Delivery drivers stop at St. Paul's on the first Monday of each month with trays of food ready to nourish hungry families and hearty volunteers. 

The meal has been made possible by Campus Kitchen DC, a food ministry of National UMC, which rescues good food, has it transformed by Campus Kitchens, and then delivers it to programs serving those in need. 

You can read more about the mission of National UMC and learn about their efforts region-wide at We are proud to be community partners, working together to eliminate hunger.

Campus Kitchens

Each month, St. Paul's volunteers and families participating in our Hunger Ministry efforts are invited to enjoy a hot meal and time of fellowship in Heavener Hall when they arrive to pick up their grocery items. The dinner comes to us monthly through our partners at National UMC and their work with the Campus Kitchens Project.

Based in Washington, DC, the Campus Kitchens Project links schools large and small with volunteers dedicated to helping end hunger and reducing food waste. Volunteers recover good food from cafeterias and university food services programs that goes unused but would otherwise be thrown out. Volunteers and partners then help prepare fresh dishes and deliver meals to community-based programs like ours, in neighborhoods throughout their local area.

College student and youth volunteers gain first-hand experience in community service and leadership, and the Campus Kitchens initiatives also provide culinary training and educational opportunities for underemployed adults. There are currently over 60 schools across the nation participating in Campus Kitchens.

To learn more, visit

Past partnerships

Hungry Harvest: This group reclaims fresh produce that would go to waste such as grocery store overstock or mis-shapen "ugly" fruits and vegetables. Individuals subscribe to a box delivery program, and for every box delivered, Hungry Harvest delivers produce to charitable organizations working to reduce and end hunger. Subscribers from our region support produce distribution to food desert and low income public school areas in Baltimore, MD. Visit to learn more about Hungry Harvest's mission, delivery area, and sign-up options. 

Rise Against Hunger: As part of St. Paul's "Great Day of Service" in 2017, our church community worked together to weigh dry ingredients, seal bags, and complete over 30,000 meals kits. These were added to a shipping container with another 285,120 meals from the National Capital area warehouse and sent to partner agencies for distribution in El Salvador. Rise Against Hunger meals served 20,000 beneficiaries in El Salvador at 100 different feeding centers.

Interfaith Works Shelters: What do we do with leftovers from Hunger Ministry meals and large events at St. Paul's? In the past, we have donated prepared dishes to homeless shelters in our area to feed their residents. Interfaith Works announced that they will be phasing out services at their nearby Men's Carroll House Shelter and closing that location, so we're looking for a new partner. 

Thank You, Thank you

Even though we have not yet figured out how to safely hold an in-person distribution event, our Hunger Ministry reaches vulnerable families in the 20895 ZIP code by mailing grocery store gift cards. Sometimes we get letters and calls reminding us that our work truly impacts families with fewer means. Here are messages we've received from two families in recent weeks:

"We just wanted to reach out and thank you and your church from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness and generosity once again. We're continually humbled and inspired by our community's steady support and care for us and so greatly appreciate it!"

"Thank you for all the great help you have provided for our family."

If you live in the 20895 area and need assistance, please contact us. If you can, please continue setting aside nonperishables now to help restock the St. Paul's pantry. You can also make a gift of financial support at Thank you!