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A Morning in the Life of a Food Pantry Volunteer

Dedicated Intown Collaborative Ministry Food Pantry volunteer Jane Boyd Lee wrote the following article about what it is like to serve at the Pantry. Volunteers are always needed. If you are interested in serving, or learning more, please speak to Pastor Elizabeth (eacton@dhpc.org).

Arrival time: 10 am Saturdays

When you approach McIver you’ll see some guests who have come early. They’ll be standing around outside or sitting in chairs, socializing. When you get inside McIver, among the first people you’ll meet is Sally Oakes, Pantry Coordinator. (Her formal title is Director of Food Ministries for ICM.) Opposite the door there’s a table with a sheet where volunteers sign in and make a name tag. (It’s easier to get to know someone if you can call them by name!)

All the food we give guests is double bagged – those cans can get heavy! Every Saturday, grocery bags need to be double bagged, an easy way to start the morning. After that, there’s time to talk with fellow volunteers. Some have done this before, for others is will be their first time. Don’t worry if you are new! Friendly faces will be excited to welcome you in!

After all volunteers have signed in, we gather to hear Sally talk about the various ministries of ICM, including the Food Pantry, and explain the food distribution process. As Sally talks, you’ll understand where you fit into one of ICM’s goals – to alleviate the immediate hunger of our neighbors while leaving them with a sense of their inherent dignity. 

Before we start distributing food, we form a circle, joining hands in prayer for those we will serve and for each other.  Serving at the Pantry is far more than just a morning of handing out free food  It is a way to hear Christ say, “when I was hungry, you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

If you are interested in serving at the Pantry with your elementary – high school aged child, click here to read Sally’s tips on how to have a successful time together. In short, children and youth are welcome to serve!