GraceLife Food Pantry
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Loving our neighbor has no shortage of real estate in scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments. More so, Jesus himself identifies closely with those who are hungry. At Grace, we’ve been so fortunate to get to stand side by side with GraceLife Church’s Food Pantry as the hands and feet of Jesus to families and individuals from all walks of life.
Since our inception as a church, our connection to such a vital need in the community has been made possible because of your giving, of both resources and time. Contributions made by Grace Community Church toward GraceLife’s food pantry during its recent renovation and expansion were critical to helping make the food pantry a growing resource of weekly food and goods to an ever-expanding community of families and individuals. As GraceLife’s food pantry continues to serve up to 300 families, totaling nearly 700 people every week out of the NightLife Center, Grace will continue to partner with GraceLife Church, providing financial and volunteer support to this expanding collaborative ministry.
Running a food pantry of any size comes with a long list of demands and expenses. The body of Christ plays such a large role in ensuring that while every mouth is fed, a safe space is also created to invite life-changing conversation. Like so many faith-based pantries in regards to volunteers, GraceLife thrives on the familiar saying, “the more the merrier”. Volunteers and leadership of GraceLife stand by the conviction that authentic and contagious fellowship is directly correlated to the number of volunteers involved. The value of consistency comes into play when those who first visit GraceLife’s food pantry begin to warm up to volunteers who they begin to re-associate as friends over a period of time.
Opportunities to share the love of Jesus continue to grow as trust and vulnerability settles into relationships between volunteer and patron…
A manic woman stumbles into the doors of GraceLife for the first time. Her eyes remain glued to the floor while carrying the weight of shame as she steps forward to receive a grocery bag stocked for the week ahead. On her third consecutive Thursday, her eyes, for the first time, break through mangled bangs into the eyes of familiar, smiling faces that welcome her back every time. Shame has dissipated as the weeks pass and hope trickles into the eyes of the woman who once had none. At the food pantry, she is known and loved.
As we continue to play a role in the restoration throughout the streets of Sarasota, we want to encourage you to consider becoming a part of the powerful fellowship taking place at GraceLife’s food pantry with us. In addition to weekly preparations taking place every Monday and Thursday for Thursday donation hours, GraceLife has additional volunteer spots available throughout the week. GraceLife is encouraging new volunteers to help transport deliveries from All Faiths Food Bank, Publix, and Detwiler’s back to the food pantry at The NightLife Center in preparation for Thursday donation hours of 9-11 AM and 2:30-6:30 PM; GraceLife welcomes any hours of availability. For more information on times and opportunities to volunteer, reach out to GraceLife Church Community Care Coordinator Lisa Keay at email@example.com or 941-921-9172, or contact GraceLife directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.