Food Pantry Weekly, 26Oct2016

Greetings Foodies! . It was a great day at the Food Pantry!  It was a smaller group this week – 81 households – but still a lot. People come for the food, but each week, we offer other services too… In recent months, we’ve been providing timely information about employment opportunities through the Texas Workforce Commission and their partner Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WSCA).  WSCA provides us with fliers about upcoming job fairs and hiring events of all sorts. They also offer valuable services designed to breakdown barriers to employment, such as interviewing skills, computer skills, how to dress for an interview, ESL classes, and others, all at no cost. Once a month a WSCA representative comes to Covenant Food Pantry to talk to clients directly. Also monthly, a member of Central Texas Food Bank’s Outreach team joins us to assist clients with SNAP applications and answer questions about other social services. Every other week, a Wesley Nurse is with us to do basic health screenings and consult about health concerns that clients may have, and we provide information about free/reduced cost health services. Since the Free Store closed, Covenant volunteers have been conducting a Covenant free store, offering clothing and housewares. In general, we try to offer information and services that we believe may be beneficial to our clients. . Much of the food we distribute is donated, but a sizable amount comes from the Central Texas Food Bank. Even though that food comes to us for pennies on the dollar compared to purchasing at retail, there is still a cost, and there is a cost to transport...

Food Pantry Weekly, 19Oct2016

Greetings Foodies! . It was a great day at the Food Pantry!  If you are a regular reader of this Weekly report, you have heard me praise our volunteers almost every week. But tonight, I want to talk about a couple of members of Covenant staff. First, our wonderful Director of Children’s Ministries, Emma Lake. On Wednesday afternoons and evenings, while food pantry clients are arriving, signing in and getting food, a growing group of kids come to Covenant – some from the neighborhood, some children of food pantry clients. Emma has made them so comfortable at Covenant. Just last week, Emma said: “I’ve gotten the sense the last few weeks of what a community this has become, especially with some lovely, sweet kids.  One little girl who hangs out with our group speaks barely any English, but last week she was comfortable enough to bust out singing ‘Let it Go’ with me!”  Those little smiling faces I see each week speak volumes about Emma’s love for them. The other person I want to mention is our terrific senior pastor Stella Burkhalter. She has been so supportive, so encouraging, and not just in words, but in her actions. She clearly loves all who come to us for help and rolls up her sleeves and is personally involved every week. Tonight, she helped register new clients and was our primary Spanish speaker, making non-English speaking clients feel welcome and comfortable. Thanks so much Emma and Stella! . If you have never volunteered here before, come join us on Wednesday at 5:00 to see first hand what it is that keeps our volunteers coming...