For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Matthew 25: 35-36
Funny story - I started playing a home décor game when I was out on surgery leave during covid. In this game, you can purchase things to get diamonds; these diamonds help you buy more furniture for the room you are designing. Anyways, I saw this ad for donating money to feed children, so I signed up for it. I donated money to help people eat and I also received a lot of diamonds. I was satisfied with my game, however I did not find satisfaction in my life; did I donate for some silly game or did I donate to truly help someone else? I went on the website and started to read what this organization was all about. I teared up, realizing how many people, especially children were starving. I decided I had to do something in real life to help. I found the food pantry through the bulletin at church and thought how I should become a volunteer.
The food pantry has brought new meaning to my life. The ability to feed people who are in need is a joyous thing. When I first started out, I used to get choked up seeing the numbers of children in need, seeing a lot of single parents in our line, seeing all the people who owned pets - how much food affects everyone and why our pantry was a need. We would serve up to 200 families those weekends, and all families from our community! (We are currently serving more families due to being open for distribution on Wednesdays.)
Every week, our volunteers and I help prepare the food that is to be distributed on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Every week is a mystery; how much food will I be able to give out to people on distribution days? Some weeks are plenty and some are not. Some weeks I scrape to give families a package of meat, other weeks I can give more. Some weeks we run out of produce or bread. Some weeks I have enough to give extra.
You know that saying, God works in mysterious ways? Well, I experience this every week at the food pantry. When I am frantic about the amount of food, some way, some how we always manage to give food out to everyone in line. When I get frantic about the low numbers of volunteers some days, people show up. It is such a beautiful thing seeing God work in this way. The joy that is shared every week amongst our community is a blessing. This miracle is something huge that I get to be part of. The working hands and feet of God is a beautiful thing.
About Teresa Johnson
Teresa has been part of the St. Thomas food pantry since June of 2020. She officially started working there in September 2021. She started out as a volunteer during covid.