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Your opinion: Aug. 17, 2016

Harvest of Hope recipient gives back
Recently, on a Monday, we had finished packing and I was getting ready to leave the food pantry. I was standing outside when a lady drove up in her car.  I walked over thinking that she wanted to know when we were open. I was expecting her to ask, like almost everyone who drives up when we are closed, “What do I need to do to receive food?” Instead, she asked if we accepted donations of food from individuals. When I told her, yes, she said, “I am going to the grocery store and purchase some things to donate. Will you be here?” I told her I would be there until she returned. She was gone about thirty minutes when she came back with her donations. She said, “I wanted to help. I used to stand in line to receive food and I know what that is like. But God has blessed me so I do not need help anymore and I wanted to make a donation as a way of saying ‘Thank you for blessing me when I had a real need.’” There are so many people who continue to receive food that say “thank you” and “we appreciate it.”
This ministry is here to help people. In fact, we are not able to provide as much food as we would like, but a lady said not long ago that if it wasn’t for what we provide, she could not get through the month. We are at 606 McGarrah Street, not to receive thanks. No, we are here because Harvest of Hope Food Pantry is a ministry and hopefully will remain as a ministry. A lady said recently, “As many hungry people as there are in this world, we are lucky to have this food pantry here in Americus.”
Harvest of Hope is thankful for its supporters – the churches, businesses, organizations, and individuals who support us with money, time, and food items. You are the ones who enable this ministry to keep going.  We could not exist without you.
If you have been by Harvest of Hope Food Pantry lately, you have seen that we are expanding our building so that we can better serve our clients. Even though I do not like spending money for anything other than food, our expansion will enable us to better serve our clients. We will have more room inside the building, more freezer space for our frozen foods, and a new flow of our clients as they come to receive food. If you have a few extra dollars to help us with this project, it would be appreciated. Come by and see us. We do not enlarge just to enlarge. We enlarge to better serve our clients.
I want to thank each person who volunteers their time to enable Harvest of Hope fulfill its ministry. Our volunteers work, often in difficult situations. If it is cold, they just wear more clothes. If it is hot, they simply sweat. We have fans that do help, but they just mostly move the hot air around. I often tell individuals who are waiting to be served that in winter it is warmer outside than in the back of the building and in summer it is cooler outside than it is in the building. We have the best group of volunteers of any place. If you would like to join this elite group and volunteer in this ministry, come by on Monday or Tuesday morning and talk with our Volunteer Chairperson.
I want to thank Tyson Foods for donating chicken.  everal months ago we had a special distribution day, providing Tyson chicken to all of our clients. In June, in addition to our regular meat distribution, we were able to give our clients an extra package of chicken. I thank Tyson each time they give us food, but I wanted to say thanks to them publically so you can know of their generosity.
Of course, I would be amiss if I did not say thanks to Food Lion for their continued generosity. Thanks to Food Lion we are able to give meat to our clients most months, and every month we give out breads, sweets, produce, deli items, and dairy products. If you shop at Food Lion, I want to thank you.
We also thank the Minor Brothers Farms for their generous donations of fresh vegetables that they provide during this time of the year.
We could not be an effective ministry if it were not for what you do for us. That does not mean that we already have all the help we need. Our desire is to provide the people with more food and we cannot do that without you. Thank you again for what you do because you make this ministry possible. We are a faith ministry and we trust God to move people to support this ministry.  Again, thank you to everyone who helps us in any way. We do what we do for the joy of serving our God. All who share in this ministry have been blessed and we desire to share that blessing with others.
Sonny Pinckard
Executive director, Harvest of Hope Food Pantry
Americus