Looking through old photographs reminded us that our grocery giveaways looked A LOT different just six years ago! Most people who tour the Mission today are amazed to learn how we managed to provide for so many in such a small space. In August of 2016, we were thrilled to open the Food Distribution Center (FDC), a dedicated building for free food on our South Street campus. This spiffy new space allowed guests to shop in a way similar to a small grocery store.
When the FDC prohibited indoor activities due to COVID-19, we moved the giveaway hours to the parking lot under awnings and tents. This change proved to be fortunate, as we quickly needed more and more space to handle the incoming food donations and outgoing distribution to our many community partners. We are thankful for God’s continual abundant provision that enables us to feed thousands of families every month, both here on campus and through the food bags that our partners help to share.
One thing that has stayed the same is that people often wait in line for their turn to select their groceries. Our Outreach Team saw this as an opportunity to convey more love to people and now the Team regularly visits the line to talk and pray with guests while they wait. The team shares dozens of prayer requests with Mission staff who lift them up during our weekly prayer meetings.
As we look ahead, we know that we will continue to alleviate food insecurity as the community grapples with inflation, increased gas prices, and other economic uncertainties. We also know that God will be faithful to hear those prayers, proving again that He cares and provides answers.