The Food Pantry continues to be a vital ministry of the church. It is a ministry that began over 30 years ago when 5 area churches collaborated to fill a need they saw in their community. These churches oversaw the ministry until 1995 when it became a part of the Loaves and Fishes of Mecklenburg County. We are now one of 21 full pantries that distribute food to families in need of groceries in the county.
Without the hard work and dedication of the volunteers our pantry could not remain open. At present we have a total of 90 volunteers. These are truly a diverse group of individuals who volunteered 6788 hours of their time in 2017. Their tasks are numerous. Signing in clients, helping clients to shop, visiting with them while they wait, helping them to their cars once they have selected all their food items, date checking food items and restocking shelves, unloading trucks and weighing in donations are just a few of the tasks that are performed almost daily. Volunteers do this with smiles on their faces and a genuine desire to help someone in need. Our end goal is to make the lives of our clients a little easier by helping put food on the table for their families. We are attempting to follow the words of Christ found in Matthew 25:35, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
We do not advertise or solicit the families that come to us for assistance. An adult must obtain a referral from an approved agency before receiving food. Clients may obtain a referral eight times in a calendar year. They may then visit the designated pantry and receive enough food for their family for a week. Loaves and Fishes fed 76,517 people in 2017. Our pantry fed 4972 of that number. These individuals made up 1624 family units.
We do our best not to let any donated item go to waste. We provide food items to our own “Not Here” ministry, “Angels and Sparrows” soup kitchen, First Baptist Church of Huntersville Saturday morning breakfast during the summer months and First United Methodist Church downtown Charlotte Sunday morning coffee ministry. We also support the Women’s Shelter of Charlotte, the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, the Lake Norman Pregnancy Center of Huntersville, Hope House and the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.
The pantry is open every Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon to serve clients. Stocking and other tasks are sometimes done after hours by our volunteers. You are welcome to drop in anytime and see us in operation. You will be met by a smiling face and leave knowing you have made a positive difference in someone’s life.