With hearts full of love, volunteers at the Lake Norman Food Mission feel they are feeding both body and soul, with their efforts to provide food to those in need.
An agency of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, and also a major ministry of Denver Wesleyan Church in Denver, NC, Senior Pastor Johnny Houser says his group is ever thankful to God for allowing them to be used for giving to others, especially during the holidays.
“We have 30 volunteers who are here at different times of the week, and several from other churches in the area who come and help,” he explains. “This goes along with our mission statement: ‘Love the Lord with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself.’ We believe it is important to not only worship on Sunday, but to show our love to God and each other at all times.”
While their church is relatively small, Pastor Houser says volunteers see their group efforts as a blessing, because God provides everything they need to operate.
“We are thankful for the grocery stores that help us with food donations,” he adds. “We pick up at seven different stores each week, and at Second Harvest of Metrolina once a week (the organization is an approved agency with Second Harvest.) Individuals and other local organizations also donate food and money to help us provide for those in need, and we receive some funding through grants – but mostly from individuals who have a heart for helping.”
This devoted group serves a broad area on the western side of Lake Norman, and their number of families continue to grow. Some simply walk in seeking food assistance, and those who have been in once can make an appointment to come the next month.
“The scheduling helps us plan, and make sure everyone receives some food,” says Pastor Houser. “We are giving out food three days a week for the first two weeks of the month, and two times a week the last two weeks of the month.”
Lake Norman Food Mission often distributes over 50,000 pounds of food per month, which can feed over 1,000 people.
“We started off 15 years ago in just a little closet here in the church, with a few canned goods just in case someone came around and needed food,” says Pastor Houser. “Over the years we built two rooms for a freezer and a refrigerator. As more and more people needed food, we started using classrooms to store canned goods.”
But with God’s blessing and overwhelming financial support from their congregation and the community, the mission recently began the grading process, preparing for a new 5,000-square-foot building — the new home for Lake Norman Food Mission.
Believing it is always a blessing to be a blessing, the group is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested, send a message through the Denver Wesleyan Church Facebook page, email Denverwesleyanchurch@gmail.com, or call and leave a message at 704-483-0469. Denver Wesleyan Church is located at 2381 N. Highway Business 16, Denver, NC, and volunteers work on Monday mornings from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., and Wednesday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.