I started a food pantry, called the Five Loaves Ministry, at my church over a year and a half ago. It was a vision that God put in my heart four years ago. Although it wasn’t the right time four years ago, it certainly came at the right time. Sometimes waiting is the hardest thing but I knew God had a plan.
My team and I started with very little money, but a big dream. We opened with $500 worth of food. That may seem like a lot, but when feeding needy people, it’s really not.
The first time we opened we had approximately 15 people. I thought to myself, “Wow God! Thank you for sending these people to us, but we want more.” And you know what? It grew beyond our wildest dreams!
God blessed this ministry. We prayed for everything we needed and God provided. This food pantry has a lot of working people behind it. They are a very blessed bunch of people that I am blessed to have on my team. They help me in every way.
However, over the summer, the funds were getting low. All we could do was leave it in God’s hands. But we had heard about a funding program through our city. A lady I knew helped us apply for it. And what do you know: God answered and we were able to be given a $5,000 check! We all cried because we knew that without God in the middle we wouldn’t have gotten it.
Then in July we applied again for the same funding program. But this time, we asked for a larger amount, again leaving it in God’s hands. We knew He had our back. We handed in the paperwork and were told that the amount that we had asked for would probably not be granted, but that we would be given something. I said, “It doesn’t matter how much we get, any amount would help,” and I thanked them.
As days turned into a week, turned into two weeks of waiting for an answer, I finally got a message from the lady who originally helped me apply. She said, “I know how much money you got.” We got the full amount that we had asked for — $15,000. What a blessing! We give God all the glory!
We have also been blessed through donations from other places and people of our church, and I can’t thank them enough. We went from feeding 15 people to feeding over 3,000 last year. And with the new year to come, we are praying for bigger things to pass. We know God will provide.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who makes this possible every month. We are a team to do God’s work.
A few months back, I handed out papers to people who come to my food pantry and I said, “What does the food pantry mean to you?” The letters that I received back said:
“It really means a lot. We are able to get food if we are in need. The workers are all awesome and we are happy that we have them.”
“The food pantry has been a blessing to our family and I thank you for everything you all are doing for our community.”
“This means a lot to me…Without the food pantry we would go hungry.”
My heart grew a thousand times that day, because this is why I do the food pantry. I’ve been where they are at a time in my life. I love them all as if they were my own family.
Like I say to many people, we are only a paycheck away from being in a food bank line.
Please donate to your local food bank!
From my kitchen to yours, may God bless you and the New Year, and may you all have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year!
In addition to providing delicious recipes on her Faith and Food blog, Tina Rucker is a proud mom to her 18 year old son, happy wife to her husband Joel of six years, and the spearhead of the Five Loaves Food Pantry ministry in her local church, open twice a month.
Tina has worked in the food industry for over 25 years, and has a heart and a passion to serve, feed, and provide for those in need.