Food closets

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Salty, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Many churches have food closets for the needy. Those requesting assistance will come to the church and take what they need and/or want.

    When I become a pastor (and I trust it will be soon, Lord willing) it is my belief that the deacons should TAKE the food to the home. While there they should find the root of the problem. Mabey the family needs help with a budget, maybe the mother needs help in properly preparing a good meal, maybe Dad needs a second or even better job. The list could go on.
    Allowing a family to come to you to pick up food is akin to putting a bandaid on a broken arm. Lets fix that broken arm!
    One other item. Do we give food to anyone, or just members of our church?
     
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
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    That sounds good in theory, but sometimes a person will just be having a bad week and be outta cash and need help! Not everyone needs to be visited in their home to investigate the source of their problem. In fact, it would probably prevent members from coming for help in some situations. Lead them right and they should be humble enough to go to others if they need help with budgeting or jobs or are in need of financial counseling.
    Our church has a food closet for the members. People obviously use it as I've seen requests at times in the newsletters for more of this or that, yet I've never seen them go or heard about it, which is good. Their privacy is respected. We also have a charity organization in town that churches and the community donate to. Most churches in town refer outside requests for grocery help to this agency. Many even send their members there. (sending their own members to an outside charity service irks me beyond belief)
    Your idea is good, but I'd reserve it for those who request help more than once. Anyone can run into a financial problem at some point in time, and I'd imagine they'd be embarassed enough to tell the church in the first place without having to go into explicit details about why they're in that situation.
    Gina
     
  3. Deacon

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    Here in South-East Pennsylvania there is a program to help the needy that offers qualified organizations the ability to purchase food at a discount price, (about ten cents on the dollar). We fill the food pantry each month. Orders for specific food items can even be made.

    We have the people come to the food, mostly because it lets them pick the needed items rather than having us make the decision on what they need.

    Our deacon board has been given the responsibility of caring for those in need. We try to encourage people to use our food pantry before there is a cash shortage since we can purchase food at such a good price. The dollar goes much further with the food than with other items.

    We distrubute about $1200+ of "deacon's fund" donations each month, about half through the food bank.

    Needs under $500 dollars require two deacons and a pastor's signature for approval, needs over $500 dollars are brought before all the deacon's (usually via e-mail) for comment and suggestions about how we can best meet the person's needs. No cash is given, we either pay for a needed item or submit a check (such as a rent payment or mortagage).

    I find it interesting that often those who receive large distributions of funds repeatedly often do not stay with the church. We have had two recent instances where they felt they were being cheated by us. (One felt that we were being cheap when we refused to pay for their exercise club after paying a large sum of money for their back mortgage.) :confused:

    Some of our deacons are proficient at financial counseling. Some have even done some training in this field or do it professionally. If those who are close to the nnedy person's (or family's) situation feel that counseling is needed it occasionally is a condition of acceptance that they receive it. No counseling, no gift.

    Are there some verses that declare the church responsible for those in need? 1 Timothy mentions widows and that the church is responsible only in certain cases. Our church has at times gone above and beyond. God has blessed us and our congregation is generous.

    Rob
     
  4. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I think that these types of food closet ministries can be a vital outreach of the church.

    So often all people see of churches is them trying to get money from people. Evangalists on T.V are good at that. Yet to have a church come and give you something to help you, well that certainley goes against the grain of thought. I think that many people could come to the Lord through a ministry like this.
     
  5. caroline

    caroline
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    I feel it is very important to help the needy. Unfortunatly, sometimes it is hard to distinguish the truely needy from the ones who just want "free stuff". Whenever someone calls with a food need, we ask them to come to church and we will give them food after the service. They seldom come. I don't understand it.

    Also in our community we have an organization that collects food and clothing and will screen the callers. Some of the churches support this organization.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Help the needy. Let God sort out who is running a con and who is genuinely in need.
     

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