Providing Food is a Blessing for Volunteers – Davie County Enterprise Record

Craig Wiley’s smile says it all.

A volunteer at Fresh Hope, the retired salesperson picks up donations from grocery stores and delivers groceries to select homes.

“I have never felt more connected to God than when I am able to provide meals and deliver errands to my neighbors who may be going through a tough time. Serving like this and meeting so many nice people makes retirement worthwhile “, did he declare.

Fresh Hope is neighbors serving neighbors in Davie County who are experiencing food insecurity. Meals are shared, or a box of groceries and a warm smile are delivered.

New volunteers, Shana and Richard Bowles, heard about Fresh Hope from Darren Crotts, pastor at Smith Grove UMC. They were looking for an opportunity to volunteer together and it would be somewhat flexible with their schedules.

After collecting donations from Lowes Foods Bermuda Run, Richard commented on how he felt this food was not going to be thrown away, it was going to those in need. He said it made him feel much better about the grocery store; employees in the bakery, deli, meat and fresh produce departments are all happy to donate the food.

“Trish in receiving is really interested in who gets the food and how we prepare it,” he said. “There are so many caring interactions and we see that Lowes team members are thrilled to know that the food they give us nourishes our community.”

Meat, produce, bread and pastries and a hot meal are available weekly at The Bridge at 197 Main in Cooleemee.

Crotts, pastor and volunteer at Bridge, shared this story.

Last week, they learned even more about one of his neighbor’s regular customers. During the meal service each Thursday, volunteers pray and talk with those passing by. As they continue to build relationships around food, God continues to inspire our team and those we serve.

Last week, a neighbor near the church campus approached us to say “Thank you” for last week’s food. Since we didn’t normally see them at our Thursday meals, we politely asked him to tell us why we were thanking. “The meatloaf you made was great,” they said. Since we hadn’t been served meatloaf recently and felt a bit confused by the comment, we then asked, “Which meatloaf?” What we experienced next was a divine moment in the making. We soon learned that a Thursday night customer was using the fresh produce, frozen meats, cheeses and breads to cook meals for neighbors in Cooleemee. Rather than keeping the food for them, meals were prepared and delivered each week to more than a dozen people in town. It is a demonstration of the multiplying power of God among us. I remain amazed at the continued potential for my own and very personal transformation within this effort at Cooleemee. Bellies and minds are filled… with the love of Christ.

The partnership with local churches and non-profit organizations has been so inspiring. One gentleman shared, “Our church may not be growing in numbers, but we are growing in Spirit.

Fresh Hope invites everyone to join in the joy and smiles! Opportunities vary and we can work many different schedules. On-the-job training and orientation for new volunteers. Slicing and dicing, family deliveries, local grocery store pickups, social media and even pot washing! For more information, please call Julia at 336 413-2701 or Julie at 336 978-4186

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