Author’s Note: This is my church newsletter submission for June. It’s a bit different than my usual stuff, but I wanted to share this information with the congregation.
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom shall be as the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10, ESV)
On May 3rd, I had the opportunity to volunteer with the Amherst Survival Center through my job at Liberty Mutual as part of an amazing project which challenged my assumptions about food insecurity. The Mobile Food Pantry is part of the Center’s outreach, and it is run with the assistance of Stop and Shop and grant money from the state; on the first Wednesday of every month, volunteers set up tables at the Southpoint Apartments in Amherst and give out food donations to anyone who needs help, no questions asked. The amounts and types of food vary but when I was there, we handed out rolled oats, cabbage, onions, apples, eggs and meat. What struck me the most wasn’t the number of people we helped, but the diversity of the group that was depending on us for their next meal. We all make assumptions about the kinds of people who need assistance, and while those are somewhat true, they don’t represent all those who have fallen on hard times. The young and old visited the mobile pantry, as did single parents, college students and the homeless and due to the generosity of the local community, nobody was turned away. I feel truly blessed to have experienced God’s work firsthand and am thankful to work for a company that encourages us to volunteer to make our corner of the world a better place.