For years, New Bridge Church, located at 1305 W. Jefferson St., has been helping hungry families with Fareway gift certificates when they were approached by those in need. A group of approximately 10 women saw a need to not only provide food for families, but also work to develop relationships with families wanting assistance. For the last few months, Linda Anderson and Lindy Gardner, along with Pastor Mike Carlson, have been leading the group with the church’s new ministry called “The Cupboard.”
“We are wanting to make a difference in their lives, not just hand out food,” Anderson says.
The pantry is open to Madison county residents every third Thursday.
“The families pick out the foods they want,” Gardner says.
Donations for the pantry, which are left in collection boxes in the foyer and added to the supply, come from the members of the church. They will accept donations of food or money from the community if anyone wishes to do so, but the members of the church have done a great job keeping the pantry in good supply.
They have been advertising by flyers. Participants can come to the pantry once a month when it is open and are allowed to pick groceries they want and need.
“The first month we were open we had six families, “Carlson says, “It will be interesting to see how many show up each month.”
Members of the church involved with the pantry attended poverty simulation training through the Friendship Center. This helped them understand low-income people and how to help them.
“We learned how to help others without hurting them or ourselves. We don’t want to be enablers. and we also learned how to not look at them like a project,” Gardner says.
They strive to stock the pantry with nutritional foods.
“We hope to possibly offer a cooking class in the future,” Anderson says. “Or maybe bake Christmas cookies.”
The committee members simply wish to help people who are in need in the community by offering help and prayer.
“We are putting out the call that Christ put out,” Anderson says.
“We care. We truly care. It’s not just another program,” Carlson says.
For more information call the New Bridge church office at 462-1050.