Clothes Closet and Food Pantry
Tabernacle Baptist Church, in partnership with the Central Virginia Food Bank, provided In 2012, 2,206 bags of groceries to over 600 families, including 111 homeless persons. Some came only once and some every month. The average this year was just over three visits per family. There were 230 families who visited the food pantry for the first time in 2012. We distributed over 35,000 pounds of food (almost 18 tons) last year.
Join us any Thursday from 1:30-3 p.m to experience this phenomenal ministry in a spirit of respect, dignity, and grace.
This ministry provides food and clothing to needy families in our neighborhood. The pantry and clothes closet are open every Thursday from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. Food is distributed and the clothes closet is open for all to shop. This is also a place where people can come to share their experiences and situations, and sometimes to just fellowship, talk or have prayer. It is funded by contributions made to the Fellowship Fund and Food Pantry Fund and staffed by dedicated volunteers.
The following statistics are presented to help understand the scope of this ministry. The people and their interactions are the heart of this ministry.
In 2012, we distributed 2,206 bags of groceries to over 600 families, including 111 homeless persons. Some came only once and some every month. The average this year was just over three visits per family. There were 230 families who visited the food pantry for the first time in 2012. The number of families served was down slightly from 2011. We distributed over 35,000 pounds of food (almost 18 tons) this year. It is of interest to note that 80% of our clients came six or less times in 2012 and only 3% came every month.
We get most of our food from the USDA program. Less USDA food was available than last year but with the generous help from the Fellowship Fund and contributions made to the Food Pantry Fund, it allowed us to provide well-packed bags of food each week. Because of the efforts of Bill Finley we received a $1,000 grant from the Chevron Corporation to be used in support of the Food Pantry.
This ministry to the needy could not be accomplished without the help of a lot of volunteers. This year 23 volunteers gave over 2,100 hours of their time to make this ministry possible. Many thanks to our regulars who come most every week — Jerry Spiller, Priscilla Kinchen, Joey Kinchen, Jack and Linda White, and Bill and Jean Finley — serving so faithfully. Joseph Perdue joined us as a regular at the Food Pantry this year.
Jane Denzler continues to manage the clothes closet, assisted by Linda White, Brenda Cox and more recently Connie Jones. They sort clothes donated, hang clothes in designated areas for women, men and children and help clients in selecting clothes. Items chosen are bagged and toiletries given out if available. An important part of this ministry is maintaining a friendly environment where clients feel welcome and comfortable. There is a steady number of clients visiting the clothes closet each week as the word spreads about this ministry. Consequently, we always need your clothing and shoes, particularly for men. Thank you to all who donated clothes, toiletries, etc. With your donations, our clients are able to tell us Tabernacle’s Clothes Closet is the best in the area.
We continued the mission-of-the-month ministry which helps to provide toiletries, socks, etc. to our patrons and helps to keep costs down. Almost every week someone tells us how much this church has meant to them and how much they appreciate what we are doing. Looking at the statistics you see that many people don’t come every month but only when necessary. They tell us how wonderful it is knowing that they can count on us to be here to help provide some food for their tables or clothing to wear.
What makes this a special ministry is the warm and friendly environment created by those who participate in this ministry. Our patrons feel welcome and are treated with dignity and respect. It is a good-feeling ministry where those serving receive more than those receiving.
This is more than a food and clothes ministry. It is a ministry of people helping people.
People feel better after coming here and those who serve feel better for sharing with them. We are still here because there is still a need and because we have people willing to help address the need.
Director, Food Pantry/Clothes Closet Ministry