By Bill Coburn Team Leader
With only a $12,500 annual budget, our all-volunteer food ministry team provides meals to more than 100 people during the week and over 50 people every Sunday.
We are especially proud and honored that some of the recipients of the meals also volunteer to help us serve the needy, as well as serving our church’s mission, which is to offer as much food as people want as long as it lasts.
Twenty percent of our annual budget is donated by the church. We are able to operate at a food cost of approximately 96 cents per person. Our paper products and security cost $5,000.
Our program prides itself in recognizing we are participating in the lives of those who come to us, and conversely, they are participating in our lives. Our Saturday, Sunday and Monday teams strive to know our clientele and address everyone by name.
The relationships we have formed are tremendously rewarding to the volunteer teams and make our efforts worthwhile.
As 2017 brings more challenges of a 25 percent increase in the homeless populations, we ask what more this food ministry can do.
And thanks to the initiative of the Oakland Post, which has volunteered to support us and adopt our food ministry program that needs a kitchen upgrade.
The Oakland Post/El Mundo newspapers has offered to give and raise funds, publish feature articles and reach out to the business community to help us expand our capacity with increased supplies, equipment and physical improvements.
We will need all the help we can receive as we brace to serve the increased populations in the nearby homeless encampments.
Despite our advantageous location and our impressive historical physical plant, our greatest asset is our dedicated volunteers and members of our congregation who assist with food pick up, meal preparation, clothing display and organization and fundraising.
The volunteers’ names are on our church’s honor roll because they have stepped forward to do the Lord’s work of feeding the needy. The Post has asked us to provide a list of those who should be acknowledged and thanked.
A partial listing includes: Pauline Ahanatu, Gladys Baah, Bill Beatty, Steve Cabrera, Serge Chaumette Jr., Su Coburn, Dorrie Dodge, Dorothy Dugger, Shauna Fithian, Louise Hil, Barbara Goodroe, Bonnie Griffith, Arav Manay, Mimi Means, Scott Mossman, Derrick Polk, Hazel Seiden, Shelley Stafford, Dennis Thomas, Ann Tisher, Richard Titherington, Barbara Williams, Mary Woods, Jan Busch, Gay Cobb, Vernell Desmond, Henry Gardner, Chris Kovach, Christine Kovach, Julia Marquez, Leah Marquez, Sara Moore, Veronica Moreno, Iheanyi Ngumezi, Pat Osborn, Liza Ostradock, Lorraine Provost, Marilyn Reynolds, Ricky Kirsten Stengl, Marion Walton, Margie Witte and Marilyn Williams.
Our Pastor Debra Avery and her family, along with our dedicated church staff and committee members, joyfully support us.