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Helping Hand

                                                  Our Mormon elders hard at work
                                                    The Ministry Center Food Bank
                                                 The food storage room at the food bank

For the last few months I have been working as a counselor at the Ministry Center food bank.  I don't know how many years it has been in operation but I can say that the food bank is well used and I think a very important part of our community.  We are very fortunate that the Hy-Vee distribution center is in town because they have been very generous in supplying us with food.  Sometimes it is dented or has gotten to us in some other way.  Pizza Hut gives us the left over pizza from their noon buffet and Hy-Vee gives us their left over bakery goods.  The food is always appreciated.

We are a crew of four on Fridays.  Two Mormon elders gather the food for the families and Cheryl helps with the paperwork as well as about everything else.

When I got there at 9:30 this morning there were three families waiting for me.  My job as a counselor is to listen to their stories and do the paperwork so they can get what they need.  This morning I remember one story in particular.  A young woman with three children came into the counseling room.   I pulled her file and saw that it showed a family of five.  She pointed to the paper I was looking at and said,"it's a family of four now."  She related to me that her husband had moved out and that she was trying to support her children on her own.  I asked her if he was sending any support and she said no.  I asked her if she had a church she regularly attended and she said yes and that the pastor at the church had been a big help.

In an earlier post I told a story of how a man had approached me at the grocery store, had given me some money and told me to do whatever I wanted with it.  This woman in crisis who was struggling to raise three kids seemed like a good place to use it. 

I told the young mother I had been given some money earlier in the week and I wanted her to have it.  She thanked me as tears began to well up in her eyes. I hope she left the Ministry Center with a little less of an emotional burden than she came in with.

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