Northern Hills UMC operates an emergency food pantry which is open every Monday and Wednesday from 1 – 3 p.m. Our food pantry serves people that live in nine different zip codes around our church. Recipients who qualify can visit the pantry once a month, not to exceed six times a year, and typically receive 4 to 6 bags of food, depending on the size of their family. The pantry provides food staples such as rice, beans, macaroni and cheese, tuna, juice, peanut butter and jelly, canned and frozen vegetables, canned fruit, cereal, soup, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, crackers, sugar and meat and fresh produce when available. We also have baby diapers and occasionally even baby formula.
The Northern Hills food pantry is operated in conjunction with the San Antonio Food Bank from which the majority of our food inventory is purchased at a minimal cost. The SAFB calculates our food purchases in pounds. In 2013 NHUMC purchased and distributed 29,250 pounds of food purchased from the SAFB.
The pantry is also supported by donations from our congregation and several Sunday School classes. Fishes & Loaves food drives are conducted regularly throughout the year. Typical events include the “End of School Drive for Breakfast and Lunch Items” in June, the “Give Thanks by Giving Back” at Thanksgiving when bags are filled with items to compliment a Thanksgiving dinner, and “Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday” in February when the congregation donates cans of soup. In conjunction with Souper BowlSunday’s drive, two anonymous members of the church donate a can of soup for every team jersey worn to church service on Super Bowl Sunday.
The NHUMC Food Pantry serves an average of 110 families a month or approximately 425 individual family members.
As part of our food pantry ministry, we also give “activity packets” to children who visit with their parents. Each packet contains Christian-themed items like a coloring book, crayons, stickers, bookmarks, stampers, with a small nutritious snack item.
The NHUMC Food Pantry is led by Anita Lunde and Beverly Amick. It is located in a room in back of the church’s kitchen. Over 20 volunteers work in shifts of three people in the pantry logging in clients and distributing groceries. There are 6 drivers who volunteer to pick up our orders at the SAFB on the second and fourth Friday of each month.
If you are interested in volunteering to work in the food pantry or if you have a truck and would like to be a driver who picks up our orders, contact either Anita Lunde – – or Beverly Amick – Or, if you would simply like to view our mission in operation, just contact either Anita or Beverly to set up a time for you to visit.