June 1, 2015 marks a very important milestone in food pantry affairs; acceptance as a partner with the Galveston County Food Bank (GCFB). Partnering with the county food bank grants Lighthouse Food Pantry access to preferred pricing on many food items to stock our shelves and support from their extensive network of social outreach programs and partnerships to enable us to serve our community better.
The journey began with a management change of director and assistant director and involving the church elders in decisions about the mission goals the pantry was expected to meet. Approval was granted to start the partnership process with GCFB and we started putting food pantry policy down on paper to meet the requirements of the food bank affiliates. This 2 month process of decisions, meetings, revisions, prayers and hard work paid off with our initial inspection on May 6, 2015.
The inspector was very impressed with our humble pantry’s organization, cleanliness, and ability to serve a large number of people (50-60 per month) from such a small space and only operating one day a week. Soon after we received our acceptance letter and began to inform our clients of the upcoming changes.
Some of the changes the pantry made were offering a social service; exercise classes offered to anyone who wishes to attend, clearly defining the area we intend to serve; Galveston County, updating client requirements in the screening process, and agreeing to report monthly statistics back to GCFB. Our first blessing from all the hard work paid off when our initial order was completed. We received over $1000 of groceries for less than $200! The second blessing was that GCFB donated a new refrigerator to our cause at no cost!
As you can see, God has blessed Lighthouse Food Pantry. We are doing his will and serving those less fortunate than us in our community. We are blessed by our clients’ presence, gratitude, stories and fellowship and look forward to growing as the Lord sees fit. Thanks to all who have made this possible with their love, time, hard work and donations!