“Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food?
“Just as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.” ~Matthew 25:37-40
Our Food Pantry and Food Pantry Lunch, Labre East Cleveland outreach ministry, and Hunger Sundays, are tools in our on-going fight against hunger in our community.
As a member agency of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and a 501(c3) organization, Forest Hill Church distributes over 24,000 pounds of food each month to more than 560 families in our area that meet the low income requirements established by the State of Ohio–the equivalent of about 20,000 meals per month.
Because we buy in large quantity, our average food cost is less than $.05 /pound. The Pantry receives a partial funding grant from United Way, and we are listed on their 211 Help Line.
The goals of the Pantry Ministry are to
- Provide food and other groceries to our neighbors in need.
- Promote fresh vegetables and healthy foods.
- Get to know our neighbors and create a welcoming experience at the pantry.
- Encourage involvement by our pantry guests in the work that needs to be done.
- Be very efficient with the funds that we are given.
- Be respectful of the space and equipment that is being made available to us at the church.
But Abundance Pantry is about more than just food. One of our guests recently said, “What makes you different from other pantries is that you always seem very glad we are here.” How else are we different?
- Guests are able to “shop” and select their own items.
- We provide healthy choices–our portion of fresh produce is about 50%.
- We encourage our guests to try new vegetables, and we often discuss how to cook them.
- A number of pantry guests now serve as food distribution volunteers.
- We start our monthly meals with prayer and the sharing of joys and concerns.
Contact Paul Jennings to be a part of the action or to join our email list and keep up to date on what is happening. Together we can make a difference!
Tuesday AM: Volunteers pick up food at the Cleveland Food Bank
Tuesdays 1 – 3pm: Food distribution (Doors open @ noon.)
1st Tuesday each month: Lunch is served at noon; food distributed at 1:00pm
How Can You Help?
1. Keep us supplied. Add items such as plastic shopping bags, reusable bags, plastic containers with lids for soup, and used magazines to the Pantry Cart.
2. Bring in cans and other goods. We can always use tuna, canned meats, hearty soups, baked beans, spaghetti sauce, macaroni & cheese, toothpaste, tooth brushes, and toilet tissue. We can use virtually anything, even odds and ends.
3. Join us at a monthly meal. Help prepare one of our monthly lunches and get to know some of our neighbors. We’re sure you will find the discussions very interesting.
4. Pick up at the Food Bank. We use multiple vehicles each Tuesday morning to pick up approximately 2,500 pounds of food and other items and bring them to the church.
5. Use computer for tracking and ordering. Help check in our Pantry guests on the computer so we can prepare our Food Bank reports. Use your shopping skills to order inventory from the Food Bank.
6. Help us distribute food. Volunteers bring out and display food for weekly distribution. They guide the guests as they shop, put away the remaining food, and clean up afterwards.
Labre Hospitality Ministry
On the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month our Labre Ministry prepares and serves supper at Our Family Home Center in East Cleveland. More than 50 members and friends pitch in on a rotating basis to cook, deliver, serve and enjoy a meal together.
Anyone interested in joining the Labre ministry at any level–either by preparing food or serving Sunday afternoon dinner at the Family Home Center in East Cleveland can sign up to either cook or serve via Sign-Up Genius. To receive bi-monthly emails letting you know of serving opportunities through the Sign-Up group, email Jack Breisch or call him at 440-247-5599.
Make a donation to Labre or Abundance Pantry. Every dollar buys approximately 20 pounds of food. You can make a check out to Forest Hill Church with “Pantry” or “Labre” in the memo line. Or donate via Paypal, using the “Add Special Instructions to Seller” option to mark your gift for either food ministry.
The first Sunday of every month is Hunger Sunday. Any cash or checks dropped in the offering plates in an envelope marked “Hunger” are used 100% for our Abundance Food Pantry.