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Six cans. Three desserts. Three toiletries. Juice.
Forty-three families this week. Eighty families last week. Once-a-month visit.
At the Living Word Teaching Center in New Fairview, Pastor Leo Morgan and 13 other volunteers including me come together to help the people in need.
As we park we see people already waiting outside the door. We open at 9 a.m. Morgan said the first woman got here at 7 a.m.
I approach the back door and open it very slowly, not knowing what to expect on the other side.
My mom and little brother walk in behind me. Forty-five minutes before they open, all the volunteers welcome us and show us how the process works.
Half the building is set up with food. The other half is clothes, which were are all donated.
Volunteers have their own area to watch, because if we aren’t there to guide them, they may not know the limit on how much food they can take.
I stay with all the desserts. They can take up to three.
There are all different types of desserts. Chocolate chip muffins. Marble cake. Pecan pie. Apple pie. Brownies. Cookies. Donuts.
The families start by signing in. While Morgan puts their names on file, they sit and wait for him to call their name. If they don’t want to sit, they walk over and look at clothes.
They can take 10 items of clothing, and everything is absolutely free.
Then their name is called and they get a basket with a watermelon and start with frozen food.
This week includes pasta and a meat. Next, they reach drinks and juices as well as fruits and other refrigerated items. They come around the corner and receive a few packages of potatoes, the three sweets and three other goodies from another shelf.
There are many to choose from – lots of dinner kits and dry snacks. After that they make one more corner and receive a bundle of corn, crackers and a head of lettuce.
They finish filling up the basket with six can goods, rice and beans, and more little munchies such as protein and granola bars. Before they leave we also give them three kinds of bread. They choose between a loaf and rolls, then hamburger or hot dog buns.
My brother and another boy push their baskets to the families’ cars and unload. After that, they return the baskets, and it starts again.
Places that give food to the less fortunate usually have the items boxed up. Not this church. They like to make a path for the families to choose what they want, so none of it will go to waste. Some like Fiber One bars while others may prefer Hamburger Helper or Bugles.
It is neat seeing some of the faces, whether it’s their first time or their 20th. Some reactions are such a blessing.
From babies to little girls. From dads to grandpas. From pregnant moms to great grandmas.
More than half the people are thankful. Every time I hand them something they keep thanking me and thanking me. And some do take it for granted. But who doesn’t take stuff for granted? I do.
Pastor Morgan picks up over 6,000 pounds of food, and the church pays for it. Then they help the families that don’t make enough money and provide this food for them every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon. But, all the families there today can’t come back for another month.
I didn’t realize how fortunate I am until I volunteered at this church. My family doesn’t have a lot of money, but we’re not without. We are all healthy. We can all see and write. We struggle to get by, but God always provides for us.
Just as Living Word Teaching Center provides for all these different families.