The Rev. Kara Stewart (front) with St. Philip's Home Missions Team members Jennie Richardson, Gantt Folline, and Becky Barber readying food for families at Tricounty Family Ministries on June 9.
Dear St. Phillip’s Church partners,We are so grateful for your support in collecting food last week for our ministry. Our shelves were bare and we were facing a dilemma, not knowing how we would care for the families who would be coming to us on Wednesday. You responded with an overwhelming outpouring of compassion in action with your donations of food and grocery bags. Your donations filled our food pantry and enabled our volunteers to fill bags full of nutritious food for our neighbors in need.
Your gift came just in time. On Wednesday, we saw a record-186 families come through our ministry in two hours. Because of your donations, we were able to give each one of them a bag of groceries, which helped feed 568 members of their households! Each week, we are seeing the number of families experiencing financial difficulties increase. And each week, we see more and more people coming to us for the first time in their lives. Unfortunately, because of the interruptions in the food supply chain, we aren’t receiving as much surplus from our food bank partners. Because of this, your donations mean the difference between having food to share, and sending people away empty-handed.
One family that was helped this week came because the mother has been out of work for two months. The father, who suffers from severe diabetes, has had three surgeries in the last six months to try and save his leg from total amputation. Despite the support of good health insurance, the extra medical bills overwhelmed this family and they were evicted from their home. Yesterday, we were able to connect them with our partners at One 80 Place to help with their housing needs, but we didn’t have to send them away empty-handed. We were able to share fresh produce with them because of our partnership with Feed the Need and we were able to give them a bag of groceries because of our partnership with you.
As we continue to struggle with the effects of this pandemic, we are staying rooted in our mission to share Christ’s love with people who are hurting. As more and more people are finding themselves on the edge of despair, we are called to respond with generosity and compassion. Tricounty Family Ministries is a place where people of faith come together to lift up their neighbors in need. We are grateful that you are a part of this effort to walk together into the unknown future, full of hope in Christ.
We invite you to continue reaching out to your neighbors in need by praying for them and for our mission. We invite you to donate when you are able, remembering that, like Abraham, you have been blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. We invite you to continue to collect and donate food and toiletries so that we have groceries to share with people in need. We’re open to receive those donations Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12-2. And we invite you to come out and support our work in person: Tuesdays bagging groceries, Wednesdays distributing food, and the Second Saturday morning of each month, distributing food. Youth are welcome to join in the effort: age 16 and up can come on their own, age 11-15 can come in groups with an adult. Children are welcome on Tuesdays with their families to help sort and bag clothing to be given to people in need.
Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for being together with us as we meet the needs of our neighbors, our sisters and brothers in Christ.
The Rev. Kara Stewart