Food Pantry/Clothes Closet Ministry
This ministry provides food and clothing to needy families in our neighborhood. The food pantry and clothes closet are open every Thursday from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm and are staffed by dedicated volunteers. Food is distributed and the clothes closet is open for all to shop. This is also a place where people can come to share their experiences and situations, and sometimes to just fellowship and talk or have prayer. It is funded by contributions made to the Fellowship Fund and Food Pantry Fund and grants. Bill Finley was again able to secure a $1000 grant from Chevron.
In 2015, we distributed 1969 bags of groceries to 540 families, including 71 homeless persons. Some came only once and some every month. On average a family came between 3 and 4 times a year. There were 192 families who visited the food pantry for the first time in 2015. We distributed over 38,000 pounds of food (19 tons) this year. We strive to provide well-packed bags of food each week.
This year about 80% of food we distributed came from the USDA program. The Food Bank makes an allotment of food based on number of families served. USDA food is picked up on the first Wednesday of each month. Nathan Hatfield has been a real help in organizing volunteers to pick up food on the first Wednesday of each month. A special thanks to Jay Hartman for his help in providing trucks as well as personnel.
This ministry to the needy could not be accomplished without the help of a lot of volunteers. In 2015, 19 food pantry and clothes closet volunteers gave close to 2400 hours of their time to make this ministry possible. Many thanks to our regulars who come most every week – Jerry Spiller, Priscilla Kinchen, Jack White, Bill and Jean Finley, and Linda Southworth – who serve so faithfully and to Austin Rose who helped stock and serve this summer.
Jane Denzler continues to manage the clothes closet, assisted by Linda White, Brenda Cox and Connie Jones who also helps in the food pantry when needed. Each week volunteers sort donated clothes, shoes, etc., hang clothes in designated areas for women, men and children and assist clients in selecting clothes. Items chosen are bagged and toiletries given out if available. An important part of this ministry is maintaining a friendly environment where clients feel welcome and comfortable. Each week, a steady number of clients visit the clothes closet as the word spreads about this ministry. Consequently, we always need clothing and shoes, particularly for men. Thank you to everyone who donated clothes and toiletries this past year. With your donations, our clients tell us Tabernacle’s Clothes Closet is the best in the area.
This ministry helps people in our community to be better able to provide for their families. We want people to feel better when they come here by providing food and clothing and treating them with dignity and respect. All who serve in this ministry are here for that purpose. By the grace of God we are able to provide this help. I hope that this ministry will be here as long as there is a need.
Director, Food Pantry/Clothes Closet Ministry
A little history:
Since July of 2003, when I started working in the food pantry we have distributed almost 34,000 bags of food, almost 639,000 lbs. (319.5 tons).
Most of the food is handled from 7 to 8 times from picking up at the food bank to putting it in the hands of the people.
That is the equivalent of lifting from 4 to 5 million pounds.