For the last few weeks, Feeding Hands Pantry has been handing out vouchers for our clients to come out on Saturday, November 21 to receive food supplies for a full Thanksgiving dinner. However, to make that happen, there is a LOT of work that goes on behind the scenes to get all of those supplies and to get everything organized. Executive Director and Founder Lois Bennett works with dozens of volunteers to help make that happen.
We served 221 families providing food to almost 600 individuals in September-up another 10% over August. But the numbers do not tell the story.
We have been so blessed to be here to help so many guests meet their physical need for food and their need to be treated with the dignity that was instilled in them by their creator. We have been there to share in their joy, their relief, their sharing, and their grief. The joy of the woman who had just been told by her boss that she was getting a raise.
Quite frankly, God is blowing me away! We finished August serving 63 families on Tuesday and 198 families for the month. Both were records, but they are just numbers. What really blew me away was the way in which the Holy Spirit moved each of you to engage with our 198 guests. Just yesterday, I saw so many deep conversations going on between you and our guests. Conversations between neighbors! Conversations that said, “You are important to me.” And “You are important to God!
Your time commitment makes it possible to feed the many families who come to us. But the love you show them is life altering. And the Lord is blessing us with signs he is with us.
Early in the month, Jerry received a call from “the blue” asking if we could take 17 cases of hams. We did not solicit these hams; do not know who brought them to us or how they were directed to us. At least at first. When we realized there were 10 hams in each of those cases making 170 the total number of hams we received, we knew the Lord directed this donation. Feeding Hands feeds an average of 170 families each and every month. The Lord provided a ham for each of our families!
Another month has passed and I can’t help but feel God is pleased with the work of our hearts and our hands. The 170 families we served in May were blessed not only by the provision we supplied them, but with the love with which we provided it. I hope you can sense their feeling of belonging as they come to a place that loves and accepts them without judgement. There is a relaxed atmosphere in the church as they wait for their turn that was not there when most who came were brand new and tentative about how we would receive them.
Happy Anniversary! We have just completed our first year of serving those in need in the Somerville area. We ended with a bang. Three consecutive weeks serving between 46 and 50 families each week. And we have been distributing more nutritious options including 15 cases of fresh produce on Tuesday alone! In theory, there is no way we could accomplish this in our small confines supported by a congregation the size of Emmanuel. And yet we did by keeping focused on the Lord and the work He wanted us to do.