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building a community to reach a community

It’s Not about the Food!

Our team knew that that there were students who needed a reliable food source for the ten weeks school was out of session. Our goal was to provide one week’s worth of food for each family using the Mobile Food Pantry from Second Harvest.

We started out just targeting the kids, but as the summer progressed we realized that we were engaging the Mountain View community as a whole. As we talked with many of the same families week after week, we got to know them on a first name basis. Not only did we provide them with food but we starting building relationships. The families were thrilled with the children’s books and videos a member of our church provided. The church also provided Bibles and tracts. Many people told us that their Bibles were worn out and they were so thankful to have a new one!

Over the ten weeks we gave around 1500 boxes of food, fresh fruits, dairy, and vegetables. Some of the families came each week; other families were different each week. We had 71 volunteers from GFC over the course of the 10 weeks; many of them serving multiple times. The servant heart of GFC was amazing as many who had volunteered to help only one Saturday; asked and showed up many more times to help in the heavy lifting and hard work at the Mobile Pantry Pickup.

We passed out paper plates for the families to write their thoughts on the impact this distribution ministry had on them. Here are some of their comments: one young boy wrote “food makes me happy”, another recipient wrote “Good work, appreciate it and most of all…God is Great!” A disabled mom of a 10 year old said “Food giveaway is a tremendous help to us. Thank you so much.”

As we develop a relationship with the Mountain View Community we want to provide not only a “Hand Out” but a “Hand Up!” with having the recipients contribute in helping. Throughout the summer several of the recipients offered to help distribute, carry food, clean up or do whatever needed to be done. One person volunteered for 8 of the 10 weeks we were there. She served others then she received food. We discovered that she had been walking around 2 miles to get to the school so we started giving her rides home. Relationships were built.

We saw in this the heart of GFC in this outreach. Many of you volunteered with us; many of you contributed financially, and others prayed. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate the support and encouragement that you provided; enabling us to serve the people of the Mountain View Community.

It’s really not about the food afterall. It’s about people, and relationships, and hope, and our Lord.

With thankful hearts,
The Mountain View School Food Pantry Team

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