Face2Face with Those Who Hunger
The doors to the Grace Church open at 8:00am. Two of our regular participants step inside to help our crew of volunteers set up the food and coffee. It is Mobile Food Pantry Thursday and the parking lot is filling with families waiting for their turn to drive through the line and receive fresh produce and dry goods. While they wait, they are invited to step inside the church doors to rest and recharge.
As the coffee brews in the lobby, conversations begin to flow between our volunteers and the families that have joined them. Although each person’s story is unique, connections are made around family, parenting, and the daily joys and struggles of life. A few folks pair-off for prayer and deeper conversations. Laughter and welcomes abound when this sweet community reconvenes to connect and care for one another. People are being fed in body and spirit.
Each month about 200 families gather at Grace Church for the Mobile Food Pantry. Hosted in conjunction with The Real Life Center, the pantry food is provided by the Atlanta Food Bank and distributed by a group of dedicated Grace volunteers who arrive early to sort and bag the food. After years of practice, the system runs smoothly and efficiently. By 10 am, cars are slowly driving through the back parking lot where food is placed in the trunks.
The Mobile Food Pantry has become more than just a time to distribute food. It has become an opportunity for God’s love to pour out in our community. It has become an opportunity for relationships to form between people who might not normally cross paths. It has become a place where Jesus Shaped Hospitality is a regular occurrence.