Pastor Mike Gifford said it is the fulfillment of his dream.
“We have always been about reaching out to the community because that should be the mission of the church,” Gifford said.
On the second and fourth Tuesdays, people with proof of need are given bags of groceries from the food pantry and clothing and other items from God's Hands and Feet Boutique.
On Tuesday, Vickie Hall and Doris Goodan joined with other members of the church in helping families select clothing, as well as toothpaste, tissues, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, feminine items and baby formula.
Joyce Lewis, director of the boutique, said that an average of 150 to 200 items go out of the boutique every other week and everything is made possible by individual donations.
“People from as far away as California have presented us with gifts ranging from $25 to $100, and we spend it wisely, taking advantage of special sales on clothing and toiletry items,” Lewis said. “Two families in Kentucky are regular monthly donors.”
Jean Cooley was busy screening people for the food pantry.
“We get a lot of help to be able to provide food for needy families,” Cooley said. “Recently our shelves were bare and we prayed for someone to bring us food and money because Tuesday was fast approaching. Then the wonderful folks at Rubyville Community Church collected two truckloads of canned goods at their annual jubilee at the fairgrounds and then made a donation of $1,000. It was truly a blessing,” said Cooley.
Melissa Eldridge, a volunteer, said workers put a can of corn, a can of green beans, a can of peas and another item in each bag, then move the bag across the room where things like peanut butter, cereal, bread, gelatin, dressings, crackers and more are added. The last stop is where the fresh meat is placed in the bag, and each family then can take the groceries home.
“This place is real important to those of us on a fixed income,” said James Bellamy.
For two nights before Christmas last year, more than 1,000 people providing proof of need were fed, given bags of groceries, clothing and personal items, and a new gift for every child.
“It doesn't matter who you are. If you are hungry, we will feed you,” volunteer Frankie Jarrell said.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.