Food Pantry Outreach
It is disheartening when a family struggles to put food on the table or worries about from where the next meal will come. Whether it is single parents with hungry children, breadwinners who have lost their jobs, parents who work for a minimum wage, or families with sudden hardships, you and your church can help give them a glimpse of hope by meeting a basic need: food.
- At the planning stage, ask the following questions:
- Who will receive the food? What are the requirements to receive food?
- How often will the food be distributed? (If this is an ongoing project, you will need a storage and sorting facility)
- How and where will the food be distributed? (Do families come pick up their food at the church, or will you deliver them?)
- How will you attain the food? (e.g. an organization like Angel Food Ministries; the local food bank; food drive; donations from local businesses)
- Gather volunteers for the following tasks: stock shelves and make bags, load and unload food from the vehicles, home delivery, and record keeping. You may want to divide the team into two: one to gather and organize the resources, and one to distribute the food.
- Identify the recipients of the food and determine how much food you will need. Advertise through homeless shelters or the local food bank, or accept referrals from Social Services, Community Services, and other government agencies.
- Gather your food supplies (be it ordered or donated) and have volunteers sort through them as they arrive. You may need large brown paper bags or boxes for the food.
- On the day of distribution, make sure to interact with the families. Help them to carry boxes and be organized at all times.
- Keep good records: food inventory and recipients of the food ministry.
- Like any other distribution ministries, regulate how often and how much a family can receive.
- Consider collaborating with the visitation ministry. Visit the families in need and build relationships with them. Pray with them and ask for specific prayer requests they may have.
- This project can be incorporated with the clothes closet.