Arlington Churches Spreading Kindness Through Mobile Food Pantry

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On the second Saturday of each month, volunteers from churches across Arlington come together to distribute fresh fruits, vegetables and other meal staples to families and individuals in need.

The monthly Mobile Food Pantry, which is made possible by the Tarrant Area Food Bank and as many as 10 local congregations, is held in the parking lot of the St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 2045 Green Oaks Blvd., in southeast Arlington. Starting at 9 a.m., volunteers greet those who arrive at the church for items such as fresh produce, apple sauce and other healthy snacks, and meat when available. This act of kindness supplies enough food to support 200 to 300 families, volunteers said. Anyone in need is welcome.

“We want to bring a positive and gracious attitude to our guests so that they can feel uplifted by the spirit as well as the food,” said volunteer Rob Stewart. “We hope that by providing our guests with nutritional food that it can help with some of their worries and burdens so that they can be positive members of the community.”

The next mobile food pantry is this Saturday, June 9, 2018.

This project began in Summer 2017 when the Tarrant Area Food Bank approached First Christian Church Arlington about hosting a food pantry. Since other mobile food pantries were already available nearby, the pantry was moved to St. Andrews United Methodist Church Arlington in January 2018.

Volunteers are now working to spread the message about the Mobile Food Pantry to help even more families. Those who are interested in the free groceries only need to fill out a simple form for Tarrant Area Food Bank record-keeping purposes. Any food left over is given to Arlington Charities for distribution.

“I think when we offer kindness to others, it helps spread hope and creates energy,” said Debbie Armstrong, who added the most rewarding part of volunteering for her is seeing the children’s faces light up when they see a snack they like.

However, recipients of the Mobile Food Pantry are not the only ones benefiting. Church members say they find participating in the kindness initiative to be fulfilling.

“Not only do we get to meet people from other churches, but working side by side with them, is a pleasure,” said volunteer Earlene Pike.

Most churches want to respond to the needs of the community but can feel overwhelmed by the volume of need that exists, said the Rev. Chris Wilson.

“Churches working together allows a wider reach of compassion to others and makes the wider concern of poverty and hunger more possible to respond to in a practical and theological way,” Dr. Wilson said. “The collective effort of many congregations and organizations partnering together helps us have a wider reach of impact that we would ever have accomplished individually.

The City of Arlington, which launched a Kindness Initiative last year, applauds the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the service of these volunteers who are working to make The American Dream City a kinder place to live, work, play and learn. The Mobile Food Pantry is a shining example of the positive impact that our citizens can make in the community.

People are encouraged to report acts of kindness that they perform, witness or were the recipient of through the City’s Ask Arlington mobile app, on the Acts of Kindness website, or by posting on social media using #ArlingtonKindness and @CityofArlington.

Click here to read more about Acts of Kindness occurring throughout The American Dream City.

Participating Churches

  • Rush Creek Christian Church
  • First Christian Church Arlington
  • St. Andrews United Methodist Church Arlington
  • Arlington Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • 1st Presbyterian Church Arlington
  • Arlington Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church
  • St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church

 

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