Food Pantry Weekly, 30Dec2015

Greetings Foodies! It was another great night at the Food Pantry!  We ended 2015 with a record number of volunteers — 27 tonight and 30 for the week! It was just great as we circled up for prayer before opening to see so many of you, many who brought family, friends and coworkers. Y’all really are special. Since it’s the end of the year, I looked at some numbers for the year. In 2015 we received about 66,000 pounds of food from donors, large and small, including major retail chains, local businesses, schools, scouts, neighborhood groups and individuals. The one can you brought on Sunday may not have seemed like much, but I can tell you that every bit helps. Our new logo that says “Share what you can” really says it all. On behalf of the family that received your donation, Thank you!  In addition to rescue food and food donations, we procured almost 60,000 pounds of food from Capital Area Food Bank in 2015. This sizable amount was made possible through your monetary gifts and a grant from the Capital District of the United Methodist Church. So again…Thank you all! I can reach only a limited number of readers through our weekly email and blog post. I am trying to expand our reach into the community through social media. Please follow us on Twitter at @CovenantFood and tell your friends! And be sure to check out Other Business below. Have a happy and safe New Years!  Let’s make 2016 even better! Carl Wilson   foodpantry@covenantaustin.org covenantaustin.org @Covenantfood ____________________________   Other business… We still have a need for a...

Food Pantry Weekly, 23Dec2015

Greetings Foodies! It was another great night at the Food Pantry!  With some of the other area pantries closed we didn’t know what to expect this week, and so were braced for a large turnout. But instead, we had the smallest group in over six months. I guess everyone is out of their normal routine this time of the year, and that’s probably a good thing. But everyone who came received lots of good food plus lots of flowers and plants thanks to Trader Joe’s. On Wednesday morning, while we were receiving, sorting and setting up, Amber Downing from KVUE TV News came by and interviewed us for their 6:00 news! That was fun and different. I got to see the spot later…Amber did a nice job! This normally joyous time of the year can be painful for some. One of our regular attenders told us he had just lost his wife, and another has a son in jail, and many are struggling in so many ways. As we all enjoy friends and family and celebrate the Lord’s birth this week, please join me in praying for all who come to us in need. And, yes, we will be open next week, 12/30! Merry Christmas! Carl Wilson   foodpantry@covenantaustin.org covenantaustin.org @Covenantfood ____________________________   Other business… We still have a need for a large capacity vehicle (3/4-ton or more) on Tuesdays. If you have a possible solution, please contact Carl. If you are interested in a leadership position in the Food Pantry, please contact Carl or Pastor Stella. This week’s needs list for those wanting to donate shelf-stable food:    — peanut butter  ...

Food Pantry Weekly, 16Dec2015

Greetings Foodies! It was another great night at the Food Pantry!  When we circled up for prayer before opening tonight, our circle was kind of small and several of the group commented on how we were going to be stretched thin. Oh ye of little faith!  As always happens, volunteers continued to come. We had just enough to open and by the second hour we were at full strength. With Christmas almost upon us I’ve heard of some other pantries that will be closed one or both of the next two weeks. Last year Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve were on Wednesdays, so we were closed, and the previous year both Christmas and New Years Day were on Wednesdays, so I have no history to draw upon. I don’t know whether to expect a big turn-out of clients or not; but in any case, we’ll be open. And with holiday time comes variation in volunteer availability as some travel away and others have family visiting here. If you haven’t volunteered for a while, or if you have never come, consider serving those less fortunate at the Food Pantry these next two weeks! I was once again reminded tonight of the need to always be forgiving toward others. One client took me aside to apologize for being “ugly” last week, and in tears described a tragedy in progress in her family. Please pray for all those who come to us for help, Carl Wilson foodpantry@covenantaustin.org ____________________________   Other business… We still have a need for a large capacity vehicle (3/4-ton or more) on Tuesdays. If you have a possible solution, please contact Carl....

Food Pantry Weekly, 09Dec2015

Greetings Foodies! It was another great night at the Food Pantry!  I hope you all enjoy these weekly notes as much as I enjoy talking about the food pantry. And now the Food Pantry is on Twitter (@covenantfood), so follow us and help us get the word out to your followers. It was a slower-than-usual night tonight – just 73 households, compared to our average of 85. It will be interesting to see if we are busier or slower during the rapidly approaching holidays. One challenge will be to have enough volunteers. But God has never failed to make it all work, so I’m not worried! We get a bit of everything donated to us. In fact, I’ve learned a lot of “food stuff” just by hanging around the pantry. Four and a half years ago when we first opened our doors I’d never heard of quinoa, much less how to pronounce it!  But I don’t think we’ve ever had Christmas wreaths before; tonight we had 45! Just one item of the ever-growing weekly list donated by Trader Joe’s. This week they gave us over 1000 pounds of food, in addition to the wreaths, cut flowers and plants!  Look at the growing list of our food providers above this week’s entry. We certainly could not do what we do without them. Please pray for all those who come to us for help, Carl ____________________________ This week’s needs list for those wanting to donate shelf-stable food:    — peanut butter    — pasta    — pancake syrup Also, we can always use reusable grocery shopping bags (Not paper or “single-use” plastic bags please.) If...

Food Pantry Weekly, 02Dec2015

December already, and I’m caught up (already!) in the hustle and bustle of the season.  At least, that’s the excuse I’m using for being late in posting this Weekly!  Eighty-four households Wednesday night. It would be boring, were it not so fulfilling. One volunteer said, “It feels like a ’50’ night.” Nope, 84. I guess 84 is easy now. I hope it never becomes “routine.” I hope it – and we – are always full of wonder at what happens every week in the food pantry. God continues to send people with food to us at the same time as He sends people who need food. His ways are mysterious! We are continuing to transport our increasingly large weekly loads the 40-mile round trip from Capital Area Food Bank each Tuesday using two pick-up trucks. Hopefully this is a short-term solution. We badly need a large capacity vehicle (3/4 ton or more) for just a couple of hours each Tuesday. If you have a solution for us, please contact me at foodpantry@covenantaustin.com. First-time clients continue to tell us they have recently lost their jobs. It’s a tough world we live in. So many have no reserves, living from paycheck to paycheck. When the paychecks stop, even briefly, they are devastated. We who are blessed with material blessings are called to help. Please pray for all those who come to us for help, Carl ____________________________ This week’s needs list for those wanting to donate shelf-stable food:    — peanut butter    — cereal    — pancake syrup Also, we can always use reusable grocery shopping bags (Not paper or “single-use” plastic bags please.) If you have questions about how...