A photo of the lines that have formed outside The Potters House in Jonesville once a month since October, however, is worth a whole lot more.
Pastor Don Moore has been asked several times since that first food distribution day last fall at the church why he and his congregation are doing what they do through their food bank and distribution programs.
The lines say it all.
“My perfect answer is when we can help a family who is in such distress — they have no food, they have no water, they have no power — it makes two people cry when you can do that.”
The family who is receiving the box of food and other nonperishable items and the church congregation and volunteers giving it to them.
“They do this for the passion,” Moore said of his church and the volunteers who give their time for the programs. “It’s not about us. It’s about helping.”
He encourages people to come visit the line of people who stand in wait for sometimes as long as half a day to receive a box on the days the church hosts its food distribution events.
Moore also had a question for anyone who still might doubt the need for a food bank in Union County.
“Would you put half a day into fixing four or five meals, especially if you don’t know what you’re getting?” Moore said.
That’s the plight of the people The Potters House and its volunteers are helping.
Those who need the assistance have no reservations about standing in line that long. The pastor said the food bank and food distribution events serve anyone in need but lately he’s noticed an increase in the severity of cases the people of Union County are facing.
Moore has spoken with families who currently have no power, no water and no food because they can’t afford it or still are trying to catch up from massive winter utility bills. He has taken food to others whose homes are in such ill repair they could fall down around their owners at any time.
The Potters House has served more than 1,000 families through its food bank and food distribution events since they were created in October.
Up to now, the programs have been able to remain financially stable by the generosity through the holidays of several individuals, organizations, churches and business from around Union County and the surrounding areas.
But while donations continue to come in — of both food and funds — they are slowing down. Moore and the church understand the summer months are busy ones for many, but also know there are just as many hungry mouths — or more now — to feed as through the holidays.
They were hoping for a good turnout during the church’s first-ever yard sale and community day fundraiser event on Saturday, June 12. Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t as good as Moore and the church had expected.
“We had a fair turnout,” the pastor said.
But the church was only able to raise just under $400.
Moore is thankful for the generosity of those who participated and donated everything unsold during the yard sale to another nonprofit organization. He only hoped the outcome would have been better.
The church is looking at possibly serving between 800-1,000 families at its June food distribution event which will be held Saturday, June 26, in the parking lot of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Union — they are planning on the largest distribution event since the program began.
That would mean feeding in the neighborhood of 2,000 or more people.
Moore expects to see the first large wave of people who have exhausted all of their unemployment benefits at this month’s distribution event.
“Without that, they’ve got no choice but to call on a program like this,” the pastor said.
He also expects more people this month because of its change in location to Union. He thinks more people who might not have been able to come to the other events will turn out for June’s.
And that’s not even counting the number of families already registered to receive food through the program who also could come out this month.
“I feel sure it’s going to far surpass anything we’ve ever done,” the pastor said about the number of people he expects at this month’s distribution event.
Moore was hoping the fundraiser last weekend would have brought in more because of that fact. Now, he hopes the generosity of the people of Union County will shine through in this time of great need.
“We really need for some people’s hearts to be swelled up,” he said.
This month’s distribution day will have one of the mobile pantry units from Second Harvest available for delivery but the church needs someone with a tractor-trailer to pick it up. It also could use any and all food and fund donations as the food — while at a discounted rate this month through Second Harvest — still costs the church to secure.
Moore also is searching for additional volunteers to help with this month’s distribution because of the large crowd expected.
He’s not worried, however.
Instead, he’s putting his faith in God and the people of Union County to see the program that has helped so many continue on.
“We’re going to keep on keeping at it,” Moore said.
He’s even accepted the fact that if he has to this month, he will put the cost of food and other materials for the distribution event on a credit card.
Moore, however, is hoping more will step up to the plate to help those who need assistance.
After all, these are not just any people who are looking for help. These are friends, family members and neighbors “right in the heart of downtown in all of our communities,” according to Moore.
Everyone associated with the food bank and food distribution events, according to the pastor, has seen people waiting in line they would have never thought would be there.
That’s the key to why he and The Potters House started these food programs and that’s why they will continue offering those in need the assistance.
“It’s just simply about helping people who can’t help themselves,” Moore said.
Now it’s the Union County community’s turn to do the same and show those people here who need help they have nothing to fear.
The pastor knows — from people who once were in line at a distribution event and now have the means to begin giving back to help the program — Union County is full of people who are willing to help.
“It’s not just us,” Moore said about who has the most invested in the food bank and distribution events. “It’s the whole community.”
The next food distribution day by The Potters House of Jonesville for those in need of food assistance is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday, June 26. This month’s event will be held in the parking lot of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Union. Pastor Don Moore said registrations to receive food will begin first thing that morning and distribution will start shortly after. In the event rain or inclement weather are eminent, the event will be moved back to the church in Jonesville. Anyone who wants more information or would like to donate food, funds or time as a volunteer to help that day should contact Moore at (864) 680-3465.