I recently read a quote that said, “If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbor” (Oswald Chambers). Well, that is the posture of GraceWorks Ministries’ Food Pantry. I love that more and more we are being given the opportunity to demonstrate the heart of God in our services.
On average there is almost a half-and-half split of IN-County and Out-of-County Neighbors served through our Food Pantry. Many come from Davidson County, but some have driven from as much as an hour away. If Williamson County has the reputation of being “financially comfortable,” isn’t it only God honoring that we have the reputation of being generous?
And generous we are! Your generosity to GraceWorks is passed on to our Neighbors through grocery carts of food (not just a box of food) valued at as much as $350 because they are filled with not only shelf-stable nonperishables, but with fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, butter, bread, and meat! I am proud that we can give out such bounty to our hungry Neighbors.
I am grateful to you for making that possible! While you may not physically be there actually pushing the carts through the aisle and stocking them, it is your heart for the wellbeing of our Neighbors that is in every item placed inside.
This tangible love to our Neighbor brings them such hope! Our Neighbors receive more than just food. A volunteer saw an elderly woman having difficulties shopping in the Food Pantry. This volunteer came alongside and asked if she could help. The neighbor mentioned she forgot her glasses and was finding it challenging to read the shopping list. From then on, that volunteer stayed with the neighbor assisting her. Additionally, while assisting, this volunteer discovered that the neighbor preferred cans with pop-tops – given the simplicity of opening them versus cans that required her to use her manual opener. As a result, this volunteer helped locate such specific cans as the two went from one shelf to another. Upon finishing, the neighbor was so grateful to the accompanying volunteer who made her shopping experience filled with care and dignity!
The Food Pantry isn’t the only way we are serving food to Neighbors. In addition, we continue to offer Fuel Bags to hungry school-age children who are on the free and reduced lunch programs along with the Classroom Snack box provided to teachers to offer children a mid-morning snack who otherwise might not have one.
And of course, the approaching holidays provide us with even more ways to serve. GraceWorks, along with One Gen Away and The Well, are hosting a Thanksgiving food giveaway through Mobile Food Pantry and food delivery programs in partnership with some of our local churches that will include a turkey and all the fixins’ for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
I hope that you rejoice with me that our reach is broadening as we demonstrate God’s love to Neighbors. We are blessed to be a blessing so that none of our Neighbors – whether in this county or the ones north, south, east, or west of us – should go hungry. I think God is pleased with our generosity. I know that I am grateful for yours!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!! (Hope to see you at the Turkey Trot!)
Yours in Christ,
Valencia A. Breckenridge