- Tuesdays: 3:00-5:00 pm
- Thursdays: 9:30-11:30 am
Feed My Sheep Food Pantry
Hours: Mondays 3-5 and Thursdays 9:30-11:30
The main purpose of our Food Pantry is to supply food to the needy. We occasionally offer some household goods, clothing, and other items. This is the main ministry of our church and has been well supported by the leadership and congregation for many years.
We operate the pantry on a client choice policy that is recommended by the major food banks. It’s a user-friendly approach that is believed to be most respectful of people and least wasteful of food. Clients shop and choose the food they like and volunteers limit the less abundant items so that all get some.
We encourage our volunteers to adopt the attitude of Christ: to be servants rather than masters in dealing with the needy. We have the example of Jesus feeding the hungry people without question or qualifications.
Our volunteers help with deliveries from the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva twice per month and also pick-up items from Wal-Mart and Schnuck’s weekly through the Direct Connect program. Some volunteers go to the Food Bank in Geneva on occasion. There are usually 12-15 or more people involved at the pantry on a weekly basis.
Our garden plots (7) have provided many pounds (over 1,000) of fresh vegetables each year to supplement what we receive from the Community Gardens Project. This makes for some really healthy choices to go along with the Food Bank orders. Our pantry volunteers and some individuals from the church help to pick the fresh, organic vegies each week.
Our yearly budget could not provide nearly as much food as we order (3-5 tons per month) without added financial assistance. We rely on members and friends of the congregation to support the pantry with extra donations. Each November, for example, we purchase 100 turkey dinners because of extra giving. Thank you! Extra thanks to the three volunteers who stayed all day to give out those turkey dinners!
Government programs provide less free food than in the past. We rely more on local donations. Did you know that we are averaging almost 1,615 clients a month? Our pantry is perhaps the only one open two days a week that permits return visits. This gives clients much greater flexibility and access.
Donations of bread, pastries, and fresh vegetables and meat come from area grocers, especially Wal-Mart and Schnuck’s. VAC sometimes offers us pastry from Hy-Vee. We are also grateful to all of our out-of-town supporters and friends for their contributions. In addition to food, seasonal clothing is often donated. Gloves, coats, and sweaters, for example, are much appreciated in winter months.
Helping to feed the hungry is a challenge that appears to be never ending. Let us not tire but continue to do our best for all the needy in our community with our pantry and our prayers. May we remain true to the meaning of our church’s name, which is the “house of bread.”