Danedri Thompson
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They aren’t planning to feed the world just yet, but members of St. Clare’s Episcopal Church are hoping to help feed community members in need.
The church opened an emergency food pantry for the first time on June 19.
Pastor Pip Hubbard said the church’s food pantry is a “stop gap” that is designed to work in conjunction with the Spring Hill Multi-Service Center.
Hubbard said the multi-service center is open during business hours, which can be challenging for the working poor.
“The emergency food pantry will get you by until you can get an appointment at the multi-service center,” Hubbard explained. “If you’re still in the process of getting your appointment set up to get to the main food bank, we can get you a box of food that will get you through to that.”
For the past few months, the church’s pantry has been available to those who call needing food in the evenings or on weekends. But now, the pantry will open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.
The church pantry has been available to those who call for the past few months. Hubbard said they’ve been providing emergency food for about five families each month since then. However, he anticipates the pantry will help even more people with its new monthly hours.
“The ready access is really important to us,” Hubbard said. “But there are a segment of people who are not going to make that call. We’re Americans. We’re proud. We don’t raise our hands and say give me, give me, give me. But people that really need it will show up. I anticipate with the open hours, we’ll start seeing even more.”
The emergency pantry is one of three missions the church members provide related to feeding those in need. The church also cooks for the homeless once a month, and has two plots in the Spring Hill Baptist Church’s community garden.
The Episcopal garden plots are used to provide fresh food along with the more typical fare one might encounter at a food pantry, liked canned and boxed foods.
“WE have two plots there and the idea is to grow fresh foods to supplement. That’s been fun,” he said.
The church didn’t start its missions with the sole idea of feeding the hungry, but after prayer and consideration, Hubbard said that’s where they ended up.
“The need in the world is so great,” Hubbard said. “You can throw a dart and just help someone in a way that’s really important. We just asked ourselves what little part of that is what God is telling us to do.”
The emergency food pantry is open on the third Tuesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, 118 S. Main St. in Spring Hill.