at has quickly become one of the most influential need-meeting ministries in our area, and it's volunteer leaders like Chris Rice who make it happen.
Ms. Rice is not one to seek attention, matter of fact she quickly deflects the spotlight to the other volunteers that make The Pantry happen, and she also wants people to be aware of the other great ministries that Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church has to offer.
"The Pantry is about what we do together as a community," says Rice. "The most amazing piece of The Pantry’s story is that it is driven almost entirely by volunteer leadership. The Pantry’s future ministry depends on continued leadership and generosity from members of the community committed to serving those in need."
Ms. Rice and the other volunteers have turned The Pantry into an amazing operation that is meeting the basic necessities of many families in our area.
"Weekly we serve between 40 and as many as 70 families," she said. "Approximately 10,000 lbs. of food are distributed each month."
But it's not those impressive numbers that get Chris Rice excited. It's the changed lives of individual families that drive her and the other volunteers of The Pantry to do what they do.
"Families can be touched both ways; either by giving or by receiving. We have people that volunteer together as a family on Saturday mornings. The children seem to comfort each other in a way that only a child can touch a person’s heart," said Rice. "The shame of hunger and not being able to support your family is a product of our current economy. But, the hug of a child and just the knowing look between families says 'we are here for each other and we understand'."
So long as there are families in need, organizations like The Pantry will be there to meet those needs, and volunteers like Chris Rice will be giving of their time and energy to make those ministries successful.