Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food Pantry

Wild Yellow Jasmine - picture by Frances Robson

Good evening, ya'll. Come on in the house for it looks like it's about to pour down rain outside. We are just about to have a cup of coffee and see if I can wake up a little. There is lots to do before we leave in the morning to go to the "big city" of Camden, AL. Of course it is a little town but daddy always said he was going to the "big city" when he went to town and we would wonder where he was going.

Our granddaughter, Brooke, has a birthday today but we are going to celebrate Saturday. We also are going to put up a fence to keep Noah, her 2 year old and our joy, in the yard. The homeplace is close to a very busy highway and he has escaped once and was not hurt and we don't want it to happen again. I say unhurt but he did have a sore seat when his mama got through applying persuasion to his bottom.

It's difficult enough to walk when you are 7 months pregnant, or expecting as grandmother always said, much less run. I suggested she tie a rope around his waist and the other end to her chair but she wasn't too much in favor of that. I'm wondering if we need to build the fence about 8 ft. high and put barbed wire around the top for he is a climber. I'll take some pictures and show you we were humane even if a friend suggested we install the silent dog fence and put a dog collar around his neck. I promise we won't.

The pictures on the posting today were taken this past Monday at our church's food pantry. We belong to Adel First Baptist Church and 2 Mondays each month we open a food pantry for any who need food. We have a sack filled with canned and dried foods and we add a frozen meat item. This time we had a frozen chicken for each family. I wish it could be even more but we do the best we can with what we have.

Our food comes from Second Harvest Food Bank in Valdosta/Albany and it is difficult right now for their supplies are not as varied as it has been. Our church also donates food but mostly it is bought from the food bank for we can get more with less money than we can buy as individuals. It is blessing to be able to help the people of our community with some of the basics.

Our food pantry has been in operation for over 5 years and we have seen the needs grow each year. The recession has caused many of our families to be without an income and the jobs are few so there are great needs. One of the other churches has a similar program but still we don't meet all the needs which are here and that is heart-breaking.

We bring foods on the first Sunday of each month and we call it "Five on the First." We bring at least 5 food items which don't need refrigeration or donate five dollars. Several years ago we had an interim pastor and he announced from the pulpit that we would have "Fifth on the First" the next Sunday. Of course we all laughed and he looked puzzled until someone told him what he had said. Bless his heart he was a tad embarrassed.

Working as a volunteer 1 morning a month is one of the most rewarding activities I have. Meeting the people and assuring them we care is what being a Christian is all about. My grandparents and parents were most giving and sharing and this was passed down to us. I have heard mama say that during the depression. grandmother would give away most all they had if someone knocked on the door and asked for food. Often there would only be cereal and milk but it was always shared for Grandmother had faith that God would provide and He did. With these kinds of genes in me I enjoy helping others and this is one way I can do it.



These are our youngest and oldest volunteers. "Miss Lenora" is older but I won't say how many and Shonna is our young, ray of sunshine. They take care of the registration and greeting our guests. The smiles are genuine and the caring is evident.





In another room we have commercial shelving, which the Lord provided for us, where the cans and boxes of food are organized. We have canned fruits and vegetables, soups, peanut butter, fruit juice, pasta, dried beans, bars of soap and other items depending on what there is available at the food bank. Sometimes we have rice, dried milk, canned milk or the milk that does not require refrigeration.



We have 2 - 3 volunteers filling the sacks and making sure each has the same and then 1 meets the people, takes their form and gives them a sack of food. If there are any in the household younger than 15, they get an additional bag for the children and this is called SNAPS. We follow the guidelines given us by the government for we are getting food from the food bank and sometimes it is USDA commodities.



The lovely lady above is Lynne and she worked one side and I worked the other to fill the bags. She is a lovely, Christian lady who cares for others and is a joy to work with.



Our gentleman helper on our team is Dick. He keeps the bags for the children (SNAPS) filled and hands out the bags of food. Even if he is from the Nawth, he is a delight to work with. His sweet wife Barbara, is out church secretary.


rThese are the BOSSES. Ruth schedules everyone, makes sure we are staffed and also works filling the bags. Ron does all the ordering and makes sure we have food and also works filling bags. He is a fellow Alabamian and we give each other a hard time. He is from Nawth Alabama and I am from South Alabama and we know who is the most "genteel" don't we? He threatens to fire me or cut my salary some days but I remind him it's impossible to fire a volunteer cutting the zero salary is a little hard to do. We owe these 2 a great deal of thanks.




This the the crew preparing more bags while the "bosses" keep an eye on us. We prepare from 45 - 100+ each morning and afternoon. Right now the requests are not as numerous as they were a couple of months ago and we don't know why. We have served well over a hundred families in one 3 hour time period.


We have 2 long tables we try to keep covered with bags ready to go and we try to always leave as many as we can for the next group coming in. Often there are people waiting on us and we like to have bags ready to go while we load others.

This is such a blessing to our church and the people we serve. Jesus took a little boy's lunch and served over 5,000 and we are confident he will multiply our efforts to feed the needs of Adel and Cook county. If there this ministry close to you, join in and help and you will be filled with joy.

Ya'll come back to see me and I will talk to you later.
Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

Little Yellow Jasmine - picture by Frances Robson
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