JONESVILLE — Even though economic growth and job creation is occurring in Union County many families are still unable to make ends meet and continue to need the food assistance provided by The Potter Storehouse according to Pastor Don Moore.
For more than five years The Potters Storehouse has distributed food to the needy of Union County, both at the church itself and in cooperation with other churches and organizations throughout the county. During those years, the need for the food assistance provided by the church has continued to grow, and Moore recently reported that this continues to be the case. He said that the church provided food assistance to more than 4,000 people during its two distribution events in March, adding that more families continue to sign up every day.
“The need for food is still great in Union County,” Moore said. “We are amazed at each distribution that we are signing up so many new families.”
Moore said the need for food assistance persists and continue to grow despite the economic development that has occurred and the new jobs created in the county in recent months.
“A lot of people think that with a number of new jobs coming in to the Union area that most people who want to work can get a job, but that’s not always the case,” he said. “Many have a gotten jobs and left the program, however many of our clients are on disability or fixed income and others work minimum wage jobs and have children and simply can’t make ends meet.”
Moore added that more than half of those served in March were limited in their ability to support themselves because of their age.
“In March, 1,400 of those served were under 16 years of age, so we must simply provide for these children,” Moore said. “Also, 750 clients were over 65 years old and they need help as well.”
Moore also announced that this month the church will once again be providing food to the Town of Carlisle for the residents of that community who need assistance. He said the church will provide the town with food for 100 boxes for 100 families in the area.
The food assistance provided to Carlisle will be in addition to the other outreach programs the church participates in with organizations such as First Presbyterian Church in Union.
Just as many families in Union County are struggling to make ends meet, the Potters Storehouse is struggling to help them do so.
“Once again, as with everything, the cost of providing food and other items continues every day to rise,” Moore said. “For the first time, TPS is having trouble getting food. We are able to get cookies, crackers, candy, and sodas, etc., but real food is scarce.
“We received three pallets of canned goods last month and that was the first ones in several months,” he said. “We are having to buy many items that in the past were at no charge.”
Another cost the church is having to deal with is the necessity of renting a truck for more trips to Charlotte, NC to pick up food. He said since the church gets produce and frozen foods in Charlotte it must go there just before distribution day to pick the items up so they don’t go bad or spoil.
“Simply put, we need financial assistance,” Moore said. “A number of churches help us, some on a monthly basis and some occasionally, which is fine. Also, seven individuals help monthly and/or at times when they can.”
Even with the help it is receiving, Moore said rising costs are straining the church’s ability to continue its food assistance program.
“Our power bill continues to rise along with fuel, insurance, cost for food, truck rental and general operating expenses,” Moore said. “Any donation will be appreciated, large or small. Our budget is $2,600 per month and we are far behind for the year.
“When you consider that around 4,000 people per month receive about 45,000 pounds of food monthly, that’s a pretty good amount of food for the investment,” he said. “If you can, please help those in need in Union County.”
To make a donation, volunteer, or receive more information about the TPS food distribution program, call Pastor Don Moore at 864-680-3465.