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Good Neighbor Food Pantry

Updated: May 3

Dr. Robin McFee

3 workers and food for neighbors

Left to Right Gaelle McLoud, Marsha Mason, Jean Anderson at the blessing of the food donations (filled the entire altar area) Charlton City UMC

1

“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat….

Matthew 25: 3

 

Most of us take for granted when we are hungry we can go to our refrigerator or a kitchen cabinet and find something to eat. In some cases we are blessed to find a wide variety of options from which to choose. But many in our community cannot do that. Their cupboards are bare, or nearly so, and food insecurity has become a daily struggle.

 

Members of our community who don’t know where their next meal is coming from have faces and names; they are more than statistics. That fact came to Charlton City United Methodist Church (CCUMC), and we were ready!

 

The other day we got a knock on the door at our church. A woman introduced herself, and told the pastor she got laid off from work, and after rent, didn’t have enough money to feed her children, let alone herself.  She started walking from her apartment hoping she would come across someone who might help her when our church came into view.

 

Her timing was perfect. And thankfully we were able to provide lots of food for the woman and her children, with an invitation to return for more, because CCUMC just started our Good Neighbor Food Pantry, which is one of several outreach ministries to fulfill our mission of being the scriptural ‘good neighbor’ as a church, and serve as a resource for the people around us. 

 

Thanks to the generosity of so many people in our faith family, and three women who decided to take on this ministry – Gaelle McLoud, Marsha Mason and Jean Anderson - we are ready to share food with those who need it. And the only questions you will get from us, as our Pastor demonstrated, will be “how can we help you,” or “did you take enough,” or “can we help you carry more to your car?”

 

Putting a face to the challenge of hunger is always powerful. So is the feeling of helping someone, even if it just gets them through a day or a week. Because the real gift isn’t just the food, but the knowledge for those in need  that they too can put a face on the people willing to lend a hand. It is in the human touch of kindness that transcends and makes us all better for it.

 

When I asked each of the women who helped champion our good neighbor food pantry what motivated their efforts, to a person they shared an observation – they were noticing people who in the past were able to share resources now are in need of help.  Having spoken with members of food banks and similar outreach enterprises, they, too, are seeing people who once could give, and now need to receive.

 

Gaelle, Marsha and Jean also shared personal stories how each had a period in their lives when they faced financial struggles, and could relate to folks needing help. Fortunately now they are in positions to help others, and wanted to find a way to make a difference. And as people of faith, each wanted to live Christ’s admonition to feed the hungry (Matthew 25:31 – 40).

 

And there are lots of hungry folks around. The number of people who don’t have enough to eat, who have to juggle limited resources and make choices whether to buy sufficient food, pay rent, get medications, or purchase heating fuel, is growing – in our neighborhoods, all across the Commonwealth, as well as states around us.

 

As a church and as individuals we recognize the needs are great and houses of worship like ours are in a position to help meet those needs. Most of the great religions have scriptures that inspire congregants to help others. If you belong to a house of worship, consider starting a food pantry for your neighborhood.

 

We can do something to lighten the hunger burden, and Charlton City United Methodist Church on 74 Stafford Street is here to help.

 

If you or someone you know needs some food, give us a call or come on by during one of our worship services or outreach programs. We will make you feel at home.

 

And if you wish to contribute to our good neighbor food pantry, we welcome your kindness.  Trust me, the feeling of helping others, especially knowing you kept a child, a family from going hungry, even if it was just for one night, can be transformative. So please join our efforts.

 

For more information contact Charlton City United Methodist Church at 508.248.7379, or email john@cc-umc.org or robinccumcmedia@gmail.com 

 

 

 

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