More than 400,000 lbs. distributed since October 2009.
More than 20,000 people served.
Serving more than 700 families each month.
The ability to serve those in need with food: PRICELESS
JONESVILLE — The door plate read “Choir” but there was no music emanating from within.
Instead, cleaning supplies, baby food, deodorant, shampoo, diapers, Excedrin and a host of other everyday products lined the shelves inside presenting their own kind of symphony.
Two more rooms across the hall were the same.
Children’s toys, fans, blankets, lamps and others sat in wait for someone to hear their song and take them home. Inside the fellowship building, tons of food followed suit.
“Where God guides, He provides,” said Pastor Don Moore.
The bowels of The Potters House church in Jonesville have been transformed into more than a place for worship. The church itself has become a place where faith meets action and service to one’s fellow man has taken on an entirely new meaning.
And, on Saturday, Oct. 23, the church will celebrate the anniversary of when it all began.
The Potters House will host another food distribution day — the third this month — on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. and will commemorate an entire year of helping those in Union County and surrounding areas get the food so many desperately need.
At the end of October 2009, Moore and his church realized a dream after hearing of the woes and needs of local residents from a church van driver who returned to The Potters House with tales of mothers asking him to take their children and feed them because they could not.
It was that urgency and the guidance Moore and the church received from God that led them to begin the food bank and food distribution programs that have served more than 20,000 people since the first Truck Load of Food distribution day last year.
It hasn’t always been easy but Moore, the church and the volunteers who help with each distribution have remained steadfast in their faith and God has provided.
“It’s amazing we’ve been so blessed to be able to start these distribution days,” Moore said. “We didn’t have anything when we started but the Lord has provided each time. We have yet to ever run out of food.”
The pastor said the Lord has provided enough — but not more than enough — to serve those in need throughout Union County, first at one time each month and now The Potters House has enough to offer three distribution days each month. The church offers distribution days on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month and on the third Thursday of the month for those who cannot make it to the other two or who are in serious need.
“And we still give food at other times as the need arises,” Moore said.
Through the help of programs like Second Harvest and United Way Gifts in Kind and generous donations from local businesses like Dollar General and other local organizations and many individuals — from inside and outside Union County — the food distribution programs have become a mainstay for those in need of assistance each month.
The church has given away more than 400,000 pounds of food — more than 200 tons — in the last year. That’s just food; it doesn’t even begin to count the number of other items like paper towels, paper plates, diapers, deodorant, shampoo, etc. the church has given away.
“What this equates to is 60,000-plus meals,” Moore said. “That’s a pretty astounding number.”
And no one involved with the food programs gets a penny.
All of the monetary donations the programs receive — and there have been numerous ones in the last year, some of which have gone to individuals in the most need — go back to the program to pay for costs associated with being a part of other programs like the United Way Gifts in Kind or to paying for utilities to keep food fresh and gas to travel from Jonesville to pick up donated food.
The food distribution and food bank programs at The Potters House have grown so much in the last year Moore and his volunteers are excited about the future and the pastor hopes the programs will only continue to grow. One of the church’s goals for the future is to have a building separate from its own grounds to house the programs in and be able to provide food — and possibly a thrift store — on a free basis daily for anyone in need.
To do that, Moore understands it’s going to take the continued generosity of those who give — something he has faith that will also continue to grow, especially with the holidays right around the corner.
It’s through that generosity the food programs have been made possible.
“It’s because people’s hearts have been stirred in Union County,” Moore said. “Without them listening to the Lord speaking to them, they wouldn’t have just wrote us checks.”
And the people the food programs serve are the most grateful.
“God bless them,” said Ava Hendrix of Union several months ago at a distribution event about what the church does. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what we’d do in these times.”
“It’s a godsend,” added Pollie Robinson of Jonesville who was at the same event.
“God sent us this . . . God sent us The Potters House,” said Miriam Millwood of Jonesville while at the same distribution event.
“We’ve really been able to do a lot for people,” Moore said last week.
And to think, it all started on a late October Saturday morning in Union County.