It gets hopping at Bread For All Food Pantry at 6:00 p.m. when volunteer Rudy Weigelt calls neighbors forward for computer check-in. Once the first-in-line neighbors clear check-in, they proceed to the tables covered with bags of potatoes and other vegetables, loaves of bread and tortillas, and other nutritional necessities where volunteers let them know the quantities they can choose. All the while, new neighbors walk in the entrance door, take a number, find a chair to wait their turn for check-in and the go-ahead to walk through the grocery line and choose their items. This cycle of activity, renewed by each new neighbor who comes in the entrance door, usually carries on for forty-five minutes to an hour. Things then slow down and volunteers start the process of pairing down chairs, tables, and supplies in anticipation of Bread For All’s close at 7:30 p.m.
On Monday, June 24, about 6:30 p.m., in the midst the frenzied activity, Pastor Ellen Williams, seated at the welcome and sign-in table, smiled as a neighbor came in through the entrance door. She said “Welcome,” and the neighbor held out a $10 bill. Previously, he told the pastor, the food pantry was there for him when he was in need. Now, he continued, things are better for him. Saying he was “giving back,” he left the $10 bill with instructions that it be used to buy food for other neighbors who need the pantry. With that, he turned around and walked back out the entrance door.
Giving, receiving, and giving back – a blessed cycle of activity. May it increase in our midst.