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Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:40 pm
by andrwfields
My church had VBS a couple of weeks ago, and there was a huge turnout. However, the one thing that stuck with me the most is the two families that came to the services only looking for food. It's weighed very heavily on my heart, especially knowing that my church doesn't have any type of emergency food pantry.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who this stuck with, as I found out my brother-in-law has been thinking about it as well.

We put our heads together at tonight's service and decided to approach the head deacon, assistant pastor, and pastor of the church about starting up a pantry. They all seemed very receptive, and the assistant pastor even has a little experience with one from an old church of his.

Pray for us as we start looking into to the requirements and information needed to get this thing going.

Also, any help from anyone actively involved in one or who has helped start one up would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:49 pm
by chad_ghost
I've never been involved with one, but I'm very excited to hear about you getting involved.

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:47 am
by andrwfields
In just a couple of days, I have found out a plethora of useful information.

    I have to find out if my church has 501(c)3 status with the IRS, if not I have to make that happen.
    I've found at least 3 organizations that might be able to help donate food.
    I know of 4 food pantries that already exist in my county.
    I found out that Lowe's Home Improvement is very open to helping get materials for stuff like this.

My plan of action for now is to call some of the existing food pantries to find out if they are meeting the needs of the families that come to them. I plan on doing some volunteer time with one or two of them to see how their operations are ran, which may be more helpful than I originally thought because one of the three organizations I know about asks people to volunteer time with them in return for their support (at least that's how another person got them to).

After I get these two things done, I want to start clearing out the room we need at the church to run the pantry, gathering the materials we need for shelving and refrigerators, and then putting in the proper applications to get the food donations we need.

My goal to have this operation up and running is by the end of October. I think it would be great if we could be ready to help out at least a few families for Thanksgiving.

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:37 pm
by Matthew
Great to hear. Keep us in the loop!

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:57 pm
by RevSears
Blessed to hear how everything is progressing. It's not an area i have served in, even when i have been in churches with one.

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:16 pm
by andrwfields
Update on the Pantry:

My brother-in-law and I had a meeting with the Pastor about three weeks ago about the pantry. He's just as eager as we are to get it started.

Our plan is to get it started out of donations, and then work our way up into being an operation assisted by a state-ran charity (we can go from serving a few dozens to a few hundred).

Right now, I'm working on getting some information and doing some volunteer time with a local pantry so we can learn the ropes. My pastor is working with the deacons about clearing a space in the church for us to work with. Hopefully, within a month I want to start taking up canned good donations.

The ultimate goal is to have the operation fully running before Thanksgiving to at least help out a few families in need.

Prayers still appreciated!

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:59 am
by andrwfields
Yesterday, the pastor and head deacon sat down and discussed clearing out a space for us to start the food pantry. This will be a temporary home until we grow enough to get a separate building. The separate building would still be on campus, but separate so that it would be easier to get in and out of for the volunteers and the families we minister to.

Also, I had some time while out with Madix the other day to set down and write out a time-table for getting the pantry started! It's starting to look good!

Glory to God on this one!

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:04 am
by andrwfields
It's been a couple of months since I updated on the pantry.

We've been taking donations for about a month now. So far, the donations have been pretty meager. I don't know if it's that people aren't remembering to bring food, or if they just don't care. Whatever the case may be, we're not where we should be to meet the goal of helping families by Thanksgiving.

My brother-in-law did secure us a spot to sit in front of a local Walmart so we could take up donations there. Hopefully, it will help.

Otherwise, it's going alright. I'm just trying to think of ways to spread the word to get more donations.

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:36 am
by Matthew
I don't know if it's that people aren't remembering to bring food, or if they just don't care.

Yes :-).

Unless we have a food push, it's the farthest thing from my mind. Plus, I'm sure their are people who don't care.

Re: Starting a Food Pantry

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:14 pm
by andrwfields
I've really been struggling with the food pantry this week.

This thing hasn't even officially launched yet, and my biggest (ONLY) supporter just put in his resignation at the church. Right now, I'm trying to figure out if I want to even stay with the church, little lone keep the food pantry going.