By Maureen McNair
This past Saturday, pantry volunteers gave away food to a record 252 heads of household. Surely, we broke the 1,000 person barrier when we look at how many people are actually receiving the food we distribute. Our prior record had been 226 heads of household.
Our food pantry distributes food to a lot of individuals and families. On Saturdays, we track the food we give out to the “heads of household” who actually walk through our food distribution line. The heads of household report to us when they enroll how many people live in their homes.
Luckily, in addition to our regular volunteers, Rev. Kathleen McTigue, our newest short term Minister in Residence; four people from Wisconsin (brrrr) visiting Rev. Omega; and, three of staff person Kathe Larick’s Eastern Star group all showed up to help.
Our amazing regular volunteers do significant prep work during the weekdays and early Saturday mornings. Thanks to them, our well-organized machine still managed to distributed food to all these clients in 90 minutes.
The level of need clients experience varies greatly. One of our regular clients is in her mid-70s. She still works part time to supplement her $580/month Social Security income. She lives in a nearby hotel with her daughter, who is disabled, and 11 year old granddaughter. She is on the waiting list for Section 8 housing. "Section 8” is a common, short-hand way to describe the a federally-funded voucher program for low-income housing assistance. Our pantry client is optimistic she will receive housing assistance soon because she has heard the wait list is 12 years long, and she has already been on the list for over 11 years. She is grateful for the help she receives from us.
If I don’t say it often enough, thank you to everyone in our astounding congregation who help us keep our church’s food ministry going.
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