Phone: 574.259.1975 ext. 107
The MAC Food Pantry is a group effort among area churches including Albright UMC. Its mission is to provide food and basic personal care items primarily to residents of Mishawaka, Osceola and Granger who are in need. Donated items that are provided come from church members, food drives and USDA surplus food supplies. Over half of the food and other items must be purchased and are obtained at a relatively low cost from the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and sales at local stores. We rely on the generous monetary donations of church members and others to make these purchases. The work of the pantry is accomplished entirely by volunteers, and the majority of them are also members of the participating churches. This mission simply could not continue without the ongoing commitment and dedication of our extended church family!
The MAC Food Pantry is open every week for two hours on Tuesday evenings and two hours on Friday mornings. Clients may receive assistance once a month. We had been averaging 60 households per week during the first half of the year but have recently seen an increase in clientele. Our average is now 75 households per week.
The households that we serve include seniors trying to get by on Social Security benefits; people who work at low-wage jobs or have lost jobs due to lay-offs or down-sizing; individuals with ongoing mental health and/or substance abuse issues; single parent households; large blended families with one wage earner; people with disabilities and/or serious medical problems; and the homeless. Our clients range from infants to the very old, and they come from all walks of life. Their stories are heart-breaking and their burdens seem impossibly heavy. Many are embarrassed and apologetic that they must ask for help. But despite the difficulties that they face, almost everyone expresses appreciation for what they receive, and they often express their relief and gratitude repeatedly!
We volunteers often say that we get more than we give, and I find that to be true. Our clients' appreciation for the smallest of things reminds me to be thankful for what I have rather than to always want more. And the strength they show by simply getting up and facing what are often hopeless days reminds me that my problems are really not so bad after all. I guess they give me a different perspective….one of gratitude.
Barbara Van Damme