An offshoot of our Little Free Pantry and our LEAD Team’s emphasis on neighborhood partnerships, this program began operations during the state of emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is the most recent report of this drive-through and walk-up feeding program supported by a number of neighborhood partners, serving out of our parking lot Tuesday and Saturday from 10 am until 12 pm.
Report Weeks 41 and 42 Immanuel Food Distribution Ministry: December 26, 2020 – January 5, 2021
We welcomed new volunteers from the community during this reporting period and continued to receive substantial donations of food. I will share information about our new volunteers later in this report.
In this same time frame, the number of people we served dropped, with 75 people coming for food during the week of December 26, and 77 people the week of January 2. While we can speculate about the decline in our numbers, we’ve learned that we cannot predict nor explain changes in our stats from week to week. What we always can say is that regardless of how many people visit us, we will have plenty of food to give.
Erik and Darcey Hott of Tree of Friends donated 14 cases of a variety of frozen meat given to them by Weis Market. They also sent over their chest freezer filled with meat since they needed to vacate their present space by the end of the year. Brenda, Pete, Rhonda, and Rachel facilitated the transfer of the chest freezer and the meat inside. This past Saturday Doug Myers and Steve Miller moved the 14 cases of frozen meat housed at Weis Market to the carnival grounds, packing it in fire department freezers. Doug and Sue returned and inventoried some of the items there.
My granddaughter Caitlin Insley of Girl Scout Troop #1607 and two other girls in her troop raised money to purchase Girl Scout cookies for distribution to those in need. Our pantry received 307 boxes of cookies, many paid for by family members and friends. Caitlin and her family have been distributing cookies on Saturdays for the past few weeks.
We received regular donations from our faithful community partners: snack bags from Manchester Baptist Church, produce and baked goods from Weis Market, produce from Miller’s Market, prayers and paper products from Glenn Minnick, and groceries from Jeannie Louise. Ebert provided bread from Pepperidge Farm, picked up by Yvonne Vandergucht. In addition, we received groceries and monetary donations from generous members of the congregation and community.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this report, we have been blessed with new volunteers who have energized us veterans with their enthusiasm. Bill Skinner, a Lineboro-Manchester Lions Club member and active in our community, had read about our ministry in the Merchandiser. He is working outside, always the first to greet the drivers as they pull up. Bill has also volunteered to pick up items when needed and to assist in whatever way he can. Cindy Mullikin is another Lions Club member who organized gifts for one of our adopted families. Cindy volunteers inside the pantry, willing to do anything needed. Joe Paschal is Pastor of Mobilization and Outreach at Lifepoint Church. His family volunteered in early December. Joe joined his children this time, volunteering outside. He and the outreach coordinator at Lifepoint Church, Shelba Uhrin, plan to return at the end of the month. The Eisenacher family – Marianne, Scott, and son Jacob began volunteering on Saturdays. Marianne and Scott are nurses who work in different facilities. Both contracted covid-19 at their jobs earlier in the pandemic. They used our ministry as they recovered; and made a commitment to give back by volunteering. My son Josh became involved in the girl scout cookie giveaway, joining us for the first time and willingly helping out where needed. Laurie Miller joined her husband Steve and covered the cold food station during the distribution last Saturday.
As gratitude is extended to our new volunteers, we also sincerely thank our returning pantry workers and distribution volunteers during this reporting period: Jeanne Swain, Deb Hebrank, Carol Miller, Will and Abigail Paschal, Patt Hentz, Doug and Sue Myers, Steve Miller, Karen Haines, Jeanne Kloss, Yvonne Vandergucht, Rhonda Kiler, Rachel Murphy, Deb Bowdoin, Jo Fleck, Linda Black, Heidi Hess, Jean Louise, daughter-in-law Holly Sater, and grandchildren Connor and Caitlin Insley.
|Food Distributed||Week 41: December 26-29||Week 42: January 2-5|
|Milk||73 containers||68 containers|
|Bread/rolls/bagels/ breakfast breads||146 units||185 units|
|Eggs||71 dozen||72 dozen|
|Mixed produce, potatoes, apples, oranges||136 bags||113 bags|
|Sausage||5 packs||20 packs|
|Ground beef 1 lb.||30 packs||——|
|Hot dogs||12 packs||3 packs|
|Bakery items||43 units||20 units|
|Sugar (4 lbs.)||41 bags||——-|
|Butter (2 sticks)||——-||20 packs|
|Coffee packets (3 oz)||——-||30 packs|
|Vegetable oil – small||——-||6 bottles|
|Paper products||30 packs||41 packs|
|Pet food – bags and cans||1 bag||22 units|
There are two final stories I’d like to share, one about a donor and the second about a first-time visitor. A woman left a message on the church voice mail offering to donate food. When Brenda returned her call, she explained that she has a great love for Immanuel Lutheran Church because she had attended AA meetings here. While she’s now attending meetings online, she looks forward to the day when she can meet again in person. As she shared the story of her journey to sobriety with Brenda, both shed tears. She provided us with two overflowing shopping carts filled with food, items we frequently need. The second story is about a woman who pulled up in a battered truck with two young children. She heard about us from a Facebook posting done by Brenda. She was so grateful for food, thanking us for each item as we prepared a box of food for her. She said she couldn’t get food last week because schools were closed. She just seemed so relieved and grateful to receive the food we offered. As she drove away, we noticed that the taillights on her truck weren’t working.
Today we thank God for the generosity of those moved to give after facing difficulties of their own, and we pray for God’s protection for the families we serve.