Your opinions: March 11, 2017

Published 6:30 pm Monday, March 13, 2017

Enjoyed Community 2017 publication
I have just finished reading the 2017 Community Magazine that came in the Times-Recorder. I read it in one sitting it was so interesting. I appreciate the work that must have gone into such an informative publication.
I enjoyed the variety of people featured and learning some new things about our county.
Keep up the good work!
Nelle Ariail

Harvest of Hope thankful for support
The New Year: I do not know why we call it a New Year because we do the same thing. Monday is for packing and Tuesday is for distribution, no matter if the number is 2016 or 2017.
For those of you who do not know our history, when we began operating in June 2013, we packed on Tuesday as the clients came in. But it did not take us long to discover that there had to be a different system. The number of clients grew quickly, and suddenly we began to realize that we had to go another system of packing because we could not pack as fast as the people came to receive food. Thus, Monday packing was born.
We have been very blessed to have such a great group of volunteers. It is our volunteers that enable Harvest of Hope Food Pantry to fulfill its purpose and mission. A few weeks back we had a luncheon banquet to honor them: barbecue which Keith prepared. He cooked all night so that everyone could enjoy the pulled pork, ribs, and sausage. We also had potato salad, slaw, baked beans, corn-on-the-cob, potato chips, bread, cookies, and cake. We were entertained by Lonesome Road Bluegrass band. They were great. Two of the group, James Shutters and his brother Adam Shutters, are volunteers at the food pantry.  Bethesda Baptist Church graciously allowed us to use their social hall for this event.
Back in January we had our annual Full Plate Award to honor the churches and businesses that support us. We thank the churches that have us in their budget and who make monthly donations to us. We would like for other churches to consider placing Harvest of Hope Food Pantry in their budget as well. We also thank the businesses that make donations to this ministry. We also thank those churches, businesses, organizations, and individuals that make donations of canned goods and dry goods. Thanks to each of you who help us to carry out this ministry. We thank all of those who support us in so many ways.
Our thanks to Food Lion for the many ways that they bless our ministry with the food items we receive from them daily. Because of their help, I urge you to make Food Lion the grocery store of your choice in Americus. Tell them when you shop that you are there because they support Harvest of Hope. I will appreciate it. On the bottom of your sales receipt there is a telephone number. If you call it you will let the corporate office know that you appreciate Michael Waters and the local Food Lion.
We have recently had a visit from the Department of Human Resources. Their Business Operations Specialist for Food and Nutrition Programs came from Atlanta to visit. He came on a Tuesday so that he could see our operation in action. He seemed to appreciate our operation and what we were doing. … He thanked each volunteer for what they do. I think he spoke to every single one of them and shook their hand.
The work of remodeling is just about complete with only a few things left to do. The new, larger freezer is now in operation as well as the small freezer and cooler. All of them are now set outside in the newly constructed part of the building which will also give us much needed extra space for storage and packing. Because of our remodeling, we have been able to streamline and make much more efficient the way we serve our clients, as well as cut the time required for each one to be served. Stop in and visit us either on Monday morning or Tuesday morning and see what we have been able to do because of you. We may even put you to work.
We have been blessed by the senior group of GSW Nursing Class. They have been learning what it means to serve. Of course, this is something we all need to learn. Every Christian really needs to learn that service is proof of our faith. Too many of us think that we can hang up our faith at the door when we leave church and only pick it up the next time we come to church. Jesus said we should let our light shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.
Harvest of Hope Food Pantry is a faith ministry which is possible because of you. It is a ministry in which volunteers gave close to 10,000 hours last year to represent you.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
God bless you.
Sonny Pinckard
Executive director,  Harvest of Hope Food Pantry