The Food Pantry continues to be a vital ministry of our church. It is a ministry that began over 36 years ago when 5 area churches collaborated to fill a need they saw in their community. These churches oversaw the ministry until 1995 when it became a part of the Loaves and Fishes of Mecklenburg County. Loaves and Fishes has merged with Friendship Trays and is operating under one roof. They are in the process of renovating a warehouse that will provide much needed space for the two ministries that are growing by leaps and bounds.
Without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers our pantry could not remain open. At present we have a total of 60 volunteers. These are truly a diverse group of individuals who volunteered 5,578 hours of their time in 2022. Their tasks are numerous. Signing in clients, helping clients to shop, visiting with them while they wait, helping them load their cars once they have selected all their food items, date checking food items and restocking shelves, unloading trucks and weighing in donations are just a few of the tasks that are peformed 4 days a week. Volunteers do this with a smile on their faces and a genuine desire to help someone in need. Our end goal is to make the lives of our clients a little easier by helping put food on the table for their families. We are attempting to follow the words of Christ found in Matthew 25:35, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
We do not advertise or solicit the families that come to us for assistance, An adult must obtain a referral from an approved agency before receiving food. They may then visit the pantry of their choice. Clients may visit a pantry twelve times in 365 days. On each visit they receive enough food to feed their family for a week. Loaves and Fishes fed 106,547 people in either a full or mini pantry. Our pantry fed 3,527 individuals last year which made up 1,202 family units.
We do our best not to let any donated item go to waste. We share food Items with our own “Right Here” ministry, “Angels and Sparrows” soup kitchen, and the First Baptist Church of Huntersville Saturday morning breakfast during the summer months. We also support the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, Hope House, Caterpillar Ministries, the residents of Deer Hill Apartments and MiraVia (a ministry of the Catholic Church).
The pantry is currently open every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon to serve clients. Stocking and other tasks are sometimes done after hours by our volunteers. Please call ahead if you would like to drop by with a donation. You are welcome to drop in anytime and see us in action. You will be meet by a smiling face and leave knowing you have made a positive difference in someone’s life.
For more information please email Wanda Kerns.