Written By Mike Boettge & Kim St.Onge
As concern grows over a possible worldwide food shortage and inflation continues, Grace Church is working to bridge the gap and help families put food on the table. On the second and fourth Monday of each month, Grace Church partners with the St. Louis Foodbank to supply food and fellowship. The partnership began in 2020 when the Foodbank asked Grace to serve as an emergency distribution center because of Covid.
Church members, organizations like the Boy Scouts, and the Foodbank help provide food, which is delivered to vehicles that queue up in a single line that snakes its way through the Grace parking lot. In 2021, Grace’s Foodbank Ministry served 3,152 families.
In conjunction with the Foodbank Ministry, Grace also provides Fuel Packs. Fuel Packs consist of 7 or 8 meals and go home with local students on Fridays to provide food over the weekend. Grace also delivers fuel packs to area schools. Sue Hartley is the coordinator for the Fuel Pack Ministry. She calculates that if every Grace family could give $10 per month it would 100% fund the foodbank and Fuel Pack needs.
Foodbank volunteers approach each vehicle in line, greet them, and ask if there are any prayer needs. Lynda Byrnes and her husband, Tom, are leaders of the Foodbank Ministry. “There’s some people that say no I’m no good and there’s some people that always have prayer requests and they’re so thankful that we have prayed with them,” Lynda said.
Although November saw a record-breaking day with 723 adults and children served and 33 people requesting prayer, the general trend in 2022 is that fewer people are lining up for food as people find jobs in the recovering economy. “We have had prayers answered, but we hold fast to Psalm 41 and it says when you help the poor you will have, God will supply your needs, resources, everything and my gosh have we seen that,” Tom said.
On any given Monday, 25-30 volunteers are needed for the Foodbank Ministry. Anyone not able to do heavy lifting can help pack bags or be a greeter, ministering to people waiting in line. Church members interested in food can drop off non-perishable items