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Food2Go ~a ministry of Living Hope Church to Centerville School Children

 

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Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Imagine you’ve come home after a long day: your feet are tired from being constricted in shoes and your posture is already collapsing before you even see the beloved couch. But don’t worry, it’s the weekend. You have no outside responsibilities for the next few days, so you might as well just lock yourself inside and relax until Monday cometh. Your stomach now grumbles to remind you of the timely distance between now and your last lunch break (if your workplace’s generous donut splurge counts as lunch). Still dreaming of the legendary Krispy Kreme, you stumble into the kitchen to find –
Nothing.
You check the fridge.
Freezer?
Long forgotten corners of the pantry?
Empty.
I’m not even talking about the “Uuugh, Moooooom, there’s nothing to eeeeeeat” type of empty. You feel hungry enough to where you’d gladly eat any can of straight spaghetti sauce if only you could find it. But you can’t just go to the store to buy some food – you locked yourself in for the weekend, remember? Not that you’d really have the money to buy food anyway. I guess you’ll have to buckle down and wait for those donuts at work on Monday.
In a sense, this is what is happening to kids all over Centerville during the weekend. Many kids who go to Centerville City Schools end up going home for the weekend without any food. They often live in tough situations that result in little-to-no money for food – sometimes the only real meal they get is the free lunch at school. This is where the Food2Go program comes in.
Lisa Van Nest, the current coordinator for Food2Go, shares the concept of this program and how she became a part of it:

What is Food2Go?

Food2Go is a backpack program for the Centerville City Schools that began through a couple of individuals from Living Hope Church who saw a need to feed children who are at risk of not having enough food to eat on the weekends. Since its beginning in 2007-2008, the program has gone from feeding 40+ children each week to over 160 children this school year. There were nearly 200 children served by the end of last school year. There are 28-30 volunteers involved in the program who purchase the specified food items, inventory, pack and deliver the food to the schools each week. We also partner with Elk Enterprize which is the work/study program for special needs students at the High School who inventory and pack the individual food bags, thereby receiving valuable career and life training in the process.

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How did I become involved?
Just before the holidays last year (2014), I had heard that the Food2Go ministry was struggling financially and there was some concern that Living Hope would no longer be able to support the program. That struck a chord with me–I thought that this was too important a ministry for it to not be able to continue. At the time, I had no involvement with the program and didn’t really know much about how it operated, so I didn’t really give it any more consideration, especially with the onset of the holidays and all the busyness that comes with the season.

UNTIL, the first of the year came around and I received a call from my pastor, Jon Gibson, who wanted to talk to me about Food2Go. I was reluctant–no, afraid of what that meant, so I did not return his call. The following weekend was the District Women’s Gathering, which I attended by myself. As I sat through the sessions listening to each woman on the discussion panel share their testimony of how God called them to start their ministry, I felt God poking at my heart. imageThen, I heard one of the women say, “God is speaking to one of you out there and if he’s asking you to do something, then you better do it!” It was as if God had said it directly to me and it could not have been more clear. It was confirmation for me, that God was calling me to get involved with Food2Go. So, I returned Jon’s call and as it turned out, the director of Food2Go was stepping down, and a new coordinator was needed. After meeting with Jon and the director to learn more about the role, I knew this was what God was calling me to and I couldn’t say no.

I am now in my first year of directing Food2Go and it has been a learning process. The ministry is still having a few struggles financially, but it is improving and people have stepped up to either volunteer or support it financially. We have another church, Normandy UMC, who partners with us by providing some of the food which is about 1/3 of the total cost. We have also received grants from a couple of local organizations.

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What has God shown you?

God has shown me that He is always faithful. I was afraid…afraid of failure…afraid of inadequacy…afraid of disappointment. Despite those fears, God reminded me that He will provide what I need and all I need to do is trust Him for it. Those fears still creep in from time to time, but when I see the blessings that come from this ministry and hear of the impact it is having in the community, those fears are replaced with joy, satisfaction and excitement. The relationships I have formed with not only the volunteers, but school counselors and teachers, have been a blessing I didn’t even foresee. It is a pleasure to work with such a wonderful team, who all share the passion for helping children in need.

I am grateful that God spoke to me the way that He did. Through the obedience of those women He called to ministry and through the opportunity of hearing those women share their stories, I now have the opportunity to share my story. That is my heart’s desire: to be a part of God’s story!

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If God is poking your own heart about helping with Food2Go, you can go to their Facebook page for more information and contacts: Food-2-Go

article by Lisa Van Nest and Janae Kammer

Women in Ministry Highlights

Erin Peterson – Cinderella’s Closet

cinderellas_closet_chathamCinderella’s Closet provides formal wear to girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their prom. Through donations of new and gently used formal dresses and accessories, we are able to “Turn Dresses Into Dreams” for juniors and seniors referred to our organization by their school, community organization or social care agency.  Even more than a dress, Cinderella’s Closet provides an unforgettable, amazing experience.  From the moment our princesses dance through our doors they are greeted with an environment of grace, love and respect.  It is our mission that they leave knowing they are cherished.

Cinderella’s Closet originated as a ministry of Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside Park, KY in 2006 and has now grown to other churches throughout the country. Each is founded on the belief that providing formalwear is simply a way to show God’s extrodinary love to some amazing young women.

Visit http://www.cinderellasclosetnky.org to find out more.

Cinderella’s Closet Headquarters
Northern Kentucky
Immanuel United Methodist Church
2551 Dixie Highway
Lakeside Park, KY 41017
Office Phone: 859-341-5330
Erin Peterson, Founder & Director – Email Erin
Northern Kentucky’s Facebook Page

Women in Ministry Highlights

Christie Dixon – We Care Ministry

wecare

We Care is a brand new ministry for the Foster Families in the South Western Ohio District. Our goal is to bring Foster Families together for support and encouragement as we … “Trust God Through The Twists & Turns Together”.  We will connect through events, private Facebook and email groups.

Not a Foster Family?? You can still support We Care by spreading the word to your church & foster families, join our  encouragement team, or donate gift cards (any where, any amount).

For more details, please contact:

Christie Dixon
Wecare.swofostercare@yahoo.com

Follow us on our Facebook Page
We Care – SWO NAZ Foster Care Ministry

Women in Ministry Highlights

Cindi Stevens – Target Dayton Ministries

targetdayton1Target Dayton Ministries is a church for the poor and homeless in the inner city of Dayton, Ohio. Our mission is to show God’s love to the poor and homeless through ministries of compassion and lead them to a life changing new birth in Christ. With the help of hundreds of caring volunteers and financial partners, Target Dayton served more than 60,000 delicious hot meals to the poor and homeless last year! And thousands prayed to receive Christ in over 300 evangelistic services!

Mark-and-Cindi-300x199Mark and Cindi Stevens moved to the inner city in the spring of 2000 and began full time ministry as the directors of Target Dayton in June of 2002. During the past 10 years the ministry has grown from a small Saturday meal for the homeless into a life changing ministry affecting 1000’s of poor and homeless people with 6 services a week.

Robbie-Amanda-300x196At the beginning of 2013, Mark and Cindi were joined by Cindi’s son, Robbie and his family.  Robbie, Amanda, and little Avery just left everything and moved from Atlanta, GA to follow God’s call on their lives to join in the ministry here in Dayton.

Visit http://www.targetdayton.com to find out more.

Women in Ministry Highlights

Michele Bailes – The Broken Bus Ministry

brokenbuscoverphotoThe Broken Bus Ministry is an outreach ministry created by Greg and Michele Bailes with the assistance of their children Jordan and Justin. The Ministry is supported solely by friends of our family along with friends of friends and so on. God leads the way, we just follow.

What started with feeding homeless with our church for several months led to serving homeless out of our car for almost a year. We soon realized the car was not big enough as the needs of those who live on the streets were larger than we could provide out of our personal vehicle. God planted a vision in our minds – a mobile service vehicle – which would drive the streets of our city searching for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. Once we chose to be obedient, God began His work.

brokenbusWe now have a bus filled with clothes, shoes, blankets, food, drinks, gloves, hats….everything and anything a person living on the street might need. We are currently in the legal process of becoming a non-profit charity but we rely solely on the donations of friends to make God’s plan a reality.

We are always in need of items to give directly to the poor and homeless. In addition, monetary donations are always greatly appreciated as we provide food and drinks for countless homeless on a weekly basis. If you can help, please send us a note!

In addition, our bus allows friends and family to ride along and serve with us! If you are interested, send me a note! We would love to have you join us!

Find us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Broken-Bus-Ministry/636749336389291