Food Pantry Weekly, 28Jun2017

Greetings Foodies! . It was a great day at the Food Pantry!  And another busy one. We continued to tinker and experiment with our process, allowing our less-mobile clients to be served first before it gets so crowded, and then begin serving everyone else about 4:30. I received good feedback on last week’s trial run. Thanks again to the volunteers who are coming at 4:30, and to all from being patient with our changes. . Three of us attended the 2017 Central Texas Food Bank Partners Conference this week. We heard great talks about the growth and goals of the food bank, such as increasing fresh produce distribution to 16 million pounds this year (37% of total distribution) and to almost 30 million pounds in 2020 (50% of total distribution). This growth and the donations of our great retail partners are allowing us to keep pace with our own growth. With half of 2017 now in the books, we see this ministry continuing to grow at Covenant. In 2015 we served an average of 72 households per week; last year that number grew to 77; and the first half of 2017 it was 93. . Important need:  We have multiple openings for volunteers to pick up food at the Food Bank and bring it back to Covenant. You can do a ride-along with one of our current volunteers to see if it’s a good fit for you. You don’t need to use your own vehicle but you do need to be in good physical shape, able to lift and transfer up to 60 pounds. . If you have never volunteered at the food pantry...

Food Pantry Weekly, 21Jun2017

Greetings Foodies! . It was a great day at the Food Pantry!  And another busy one, as we served 105 households.  We conducted an experiment in making better use of our time and that of our clients. Of our early arrivers, which now make up about 70% of the total, we began taking clients into the pantry as soon as they had a chance to cool off and enjoy their snack dinner. Those who need extra time due to physical challenges, followed by the first several picked by our sign-in lottery made their way from the fellowship hall down to the pantry where a dedicated group of volunteers who had come in early were waiting for them. The end result was serving about 20 clients before our official opening time. As with any process change, there were a few bumps, but we learn and improve and move on. Next week will be even better I’m sure!  Now if we just had more space we could really improve things! . Be sure to look below at What Do We Need!  And if you have never volunteered at the food pantry before, come join us at 5:00 on Wednesday to see first hand what keeps our volunteers coming back. Questions? Shoot me an email.  And if you are interested in a leadership role, please contact Pastor Stella or me to explore opportunities. . Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers, and as always, please pray for all our clients.  . This week’s numbers: # households served: 105 # individuals served: 312 # first-timers: 14 # of volunteers: 28 . What do we need: This week’s...

Food Pantry Weekly, 14Jun2017

Greetings Foodies! . It was a great day at the Food Pantry!  And a busy one. Clients waiting outside in 100-degree heat index before opening were understandably stressed. But once inside, they were greeted with a hamburger-hotdog feast, courtesy of the combined youth groups of several Methodist churches and their leaders, some of whom were outside manning the huge, even hotter, barbecue smoker.  Thanks so much to all who cooked, served, smiled, organized, set up, carried heavy boxes, directed traffic, supervised, and dealt with grumpy food pantry leaders who had their routine disrupted! . If you have never volunteered at the food pantry before, come join us at 5:00 on Wednesday to see first hand what keeps our volunteers coming back. Questions? Shoot me an email.  And if you are interested in a leadership role, please contact Pastor Stella or me to explore opportunities. . Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers, and as always, please pray for all our clients.  . This week’s numbers: # households served: 96 # individuals served: 292 # first-timers: 13 # of volunteers: 23 . What do we need: This week’s needs list for those wanting to donate items: toiletries – toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo (including the free hotel size), toilet paper, feminine products, etc. baby food, diapers, other baby items empty, clean egg cartons (12s, not 18s please) reusable shopping bags (no paper bags please.) Financial donations to the food pantry may be made online at covenantaustin.org, or by check to Covenant UMC (“Food Pantry” on memo line). Would you like to be part of this ministry but Wednesday nights are not workable for you? There are other opportunities to help: Wednesday...

Food Pantry Weekly, 07Jun2017

Greetings Foodies! . It was a great day at the Food Pantry!  I love to hear from former clients whose lives have improved, don’t need our help anymore, and are grateful for the help they received. Here is a touching note I received just yesterday: . “Dear Volunteers at CUMC, I know it’s been quite a bit of time since we’ve been there, and I’m not sure you remember us, but we just wanted to say “thank you” for the blessing you and your ministry have been to our family while we were living in TX.  We moved for my husband’s job in July of last year, and are finally back on a sound footing.  We just found out we are expecting a baby at the end of the year, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a pianist at one of the local UMC churches here.  We are so thankful not only for the meals you provided us during that rough time, but also the many prayers you prayed for us, and the many nights you raised our spirits with your cheerful smiles and genuine concern.  I’m including a picture of the kids, so you can see how big they’ve gotten.  Love in Christ…” . We most definitely remember this sweet family and have thought about them frequently. It is a joy to hear from them. . If you have never volunteered at the food pantry before, come join us at 5:00 on Wednesday to see first hand what keeps our volunteers coming back. Questions? Shoot me an email.  And if you are interested...