Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Opinions

February 7, 2014

Your Opinion: February 5, 2014

AMERICUS — Food Pantry still needs support

At Harvest of Hope Food Pantry it is difficult to believe that it is already the end of January. Since we opened in June our service to Sumter County families has continued to grow. In the month of June we served 250 families.  In December we served 544 families. This growth was made possible by the dedicated workers and the generosity of those who support us financially. Thanks to each of you. January 2014 began a new year with new challenges as we continue to grow.

The major challenge that we faced in 2013 revolved around having the resources to provide food as our numbers grew month by month. We began Harvest of Hope Food Pantry on faith and God has provided. He always does though sometimes we begin to doubt. The first seven months was also a time of learning for us. I suppose the first lesson we learned was that, even if we have the financial resources, Second Harvest may not have what we need. Also, we learned that we have to begin early in the year storing up food for November, December, and even early January when Second Harvest supplies are in short supply. It has been a blessing that, though none of us had any previous experience with a food pantry, we have had only a few “bumps in the road,” though we are still learning. We have been blessed because in the “packing area” where we prepare the food to be given out, we have had basically the same people working each week.

I think that my biggest disappointment has been that because of the weekly increase in the number of families that we serve we have been unable to increase the amount of food that we are giving out to each family. In June, when we opened, we had pre-registered 150 families. However, at the end of December we had 846 families in our database. At the end of January the number of families has increased to 909. Thus, you can see that we continue to grow and face the challenge of providing food for an increasing number of families. God is faithful and He continues to provide.

We need your continued support with collecting non-perishable foods. Thank you for continuing to collect. Every can and box of food that you collect enables us to help someone. We also use donated food items to increase the amount of food given to larger (5 or more in the household) families.

We need your continued financial support. We appreciate and thank you for your generosity but we need your continued support. If you are not a “Friend of the Pantry,” please consider becoming one. Friends of the Pantry give a designated amount of their own choosing each month. Please realize that no gift is too small or too large.

We need the financial support of the churches in this community. We appreciate the support that we are getting. We ask each church to contact our treasurer Jerry Dill for further information on how your church might help.

At the food pantry we appreciate each of you. Those who receive food appreciate you as well. We have people tell us all of the time how thankful they are for the help they receive, basically from each of you.

Thank you for your continued support. Please continue to pray for us.

Sonny Pinckard

Executive director

Americus

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