Those of us from BCC who volunteer, thought it worthwhile to share this update, written by Cori Gill and several other food pantry volunteers from Epikos Church with our congregation. They share how meaningful interactions with the customers are and how we benefit from these interactions.
“Hello friends of the Mayfair Food Pantry,
August at the food pantry was hot and busy! As sweat dripped under our masks and gloves, we put bags together, ran up and down the stairs to bring food to a line of waiting cars, and had encouraging, supportive conversations with customers. Some of the conversations were short and sweet, while others involved sitting in a customer’s car looking at a beautiful rock collection for half an hour and being a listening ear to life stories!
Not only do we have consistent customers every week, but we also have had the privilege of meeting new families each time the pantry is open! It is such a joy to get to know our customers better, and give them food supplies that will help meet needs during the week.
Mimi, one of our volunteers, shared these thoughts about serving this past month:
“What stood out most to me from August is how loved and cared for our clients feel, and how they have felt supported in bringing others in need to us. They have established emotional and spiritual connections with the volunteer team that go deeper than meeting their needs for food.
What I most love most about serving at the food pantry is seeing the love and experiencing the different gifts and personalities of each of the individual contributors to the whole experience. It is enriching on all levels!!! The clients are inspirational in the strengths and weaknesses they vulnerably share as they face their struggles. They bless us with their hearts as they receive so gratefully and gracefully. Also, the food pantry volunteer team blesses me with their hearts for service, and their kind and generous interactions.”
Volunteering at the food pantry is certainly one of those opportunities where the team receives more blessings than can be given out. This month we have had about 8-12 volunteers each week. Since school was out for the summer, we enjoyed having a few older children and teenagers working with us. Having them on the team saved our knees as we utilized their boundless energy running up and down the stairs, and their sweet interactions brought smiles to the customers’ faces.
This past week alone, August 26th, we had nine new families visit. As we continue to grow, month to month, we thank you for your continuing support in our efforts to help our community. This really is a community effort. Between your donations and prayers, partnerships with Feeding America for perishable food, Pick N Save donating bakery goods, Woodman’s donating grocery bags, and our partnership churches that help weekly, this is a beautiful picture of serving, giving, and caring. We have been able to feed around 180 different families in our communities so far in 2020 and we are handing out weekly 200-300 prepackaged bags of food to those that visit the pantry.
If you are interested in donating food, we will take anything you see on the website’s list. Also, if you would love to donate back to school-related food (granola bars, canned veggies and fruit, peanut butter and jelly, etc.), we would love to give that out to families as well! Thank you for your generosity.”
(Source: Mayfair Rd. Food Pantry Newsletter/Epikos.org)