Empowering To Become Self Sufficient
By Robin Gregg
Faithwalk Ministries’ Food Pantry mission is to provide a sustainable amount of food and education to low income families/individuals to empower the total person to become self sufficient.
Harold and Deborah Long founded the Faithwalk Ministries’ Food Pantry in 1998. They are still key in the entire process.
The food comes from many sources; 80-90% of the food comes from The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri out of Columbia, Missouri; Food Drives from the community; FEMA Grant through the United Way allots a certain amount monthly to purchase needed items, Faithwalk purchases meat with; and food programs such as Feeding America which donates hygiene items and household items for the food pantry clients.
Approximately 25 community volunteers work the Food Pantry, with the afternoon volunteers being from the Faithwalk Academy youth.
During the summer, the food pantry runs short on afternoon volunteers, please contact Darla at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
According to Darla McClain, Coordinator and a 16 year volunteer, the process to get the food is based on income and have a Monroe County address. After proper forms are processed, the client signs in, and grab certain items offered, while a cart is filled according to your household size by volunteers. The volunteers also help load your car from the cart.
Faithwalk Ministries’ serves around 100-110 clients on a monthly basis. This fluctuates depending on the weather and during income tax season.
Darla said, “New educational programs have started during the food pantry. I’m looking forward in seeing more participation from the community.”
Maggie Middleton from NECAC came out to the Food Pantry today, April 2 and shared the Skills Up program which helps individuals get back to working. The May program will be a Nutritional Class which will have a cooking demo and talk topics like health and exercise.
Three other important roles of the food pantry are: Trina Cullum, 20 year volunteer, picks up the food in Columbia and delivers it to Paris once a month; Sandra Berry, 10+ years volunteer is a Team Leader; and Mary McClain, 20 year volunteer is an Assistant Coordinator.
Faithwalk Ministries’ Food Pantry is located on Highway 24 northwest of Paris, Missouri.
Distribution is always the first Tuesday unless it falls on a holiday from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. for families sizes 1 & 7; 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. for families sizes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 & 11.
*All photos by Robin Gregg
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