Food Pantry Program - Coordinated by the Rev. Connie Ng Lam
In February of last year, I began to plan and coordinate a weekly food pantry program at True Sunshine each Saturday. After all the meetings with the San Francisco Food Bank, visits to some other food pantry sites, recruiting of volunteers, and the applying of grants for food purchasing, finally, our Food Pantry Committee had the confidence and commitment to start this ministry to fulfill the gospel teaching by Jesus, to feed the hungry and to help the needy.
On June 13, 2009 with the blessings of God, True Sunshine Food Pantry started to serve 100 low-income families in Chinatown. It is not always easy to do something new for the first time. The first food pantry day was chaos. It was overwhelmed in managing with many aggressive people wanting food. It got better and better as we learned from experience. Now our food pantry is serving about 300 food recipients every Saturday. The most important factor that made this program success was the teamwork spirit of our wonderful volunteers. These volunteers include members of the adult church members, the youth group with their friends and relatives and some walk-ins. They see themselves as one big happy family.
Each Saturday morning, the volunteers begin with Breakfast Fellowship before assigning tasks of the day. Some of the youth volunteers are earning the community service credits to meet the school requirements through this program. The volunteers were invited to join the Thanksgiving service and luncheon, to decorate the Christmas tree, to join the Christmas party and the Christmas Eve service. We evangelize to them through these activities and pray that they will became baptized Christians in the future. The other ongoing effort of the food pantry program is raising funds to cover the expenses on food purchasing. San Francisco Food Bank suggests that the pantry agents spend $1 per family at the Food Bank. Our food pantry is financially self-supported. We are applying grants and working on the fundraising activities both inside and outside the church.
On June 12, 2010 we celebrated our first anniversary with a service of Agape at the church. Volunteers received the blessing of hands with anointing of oil. We followed that with a big breakfast with plenty of food prepared by the volunteers.
The Food Pantry operates at True Sunshine each Saturday morning.
cooperation with the San Francisco Food Bank
Donations are welcome towards the continued operation of the Food Pantry.
Contact The Rev. Connie Ng Lam at the church for more information.