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Feeding hungry souls
by Chip Latcham
Aug 18, 2012 | 1540 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
First United Methodist Church Mission Team members assemble in preparation for the start of Saturday morning’s food distribution.
First United Methodist Church Mission Team members assemble in preparation for the start of Saturday morning’s food distribution.
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Dezalynn Baldillez, 9, shown with Marlin Shears, regularly draws numbers to help select the next group of shoppers allowed to pick up their free groceries.
Dezalynn Baldillez, 9, shown with Marlin Shears, regularly draws numbers to help select the next group of shoppers allowed to pick up their free groceries.
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At left, Linda McKay and Karole Beasley are among those providing assistance as people pick up canned goods.
At left, Linda McKay and Karole Beasley are among those providing assistance as people pick up canned goods.
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Approximately 80 people, who need a helping hand to provide food for their families in this struggling economy, gathered in the early morning hours Saturday outside the back entrance to the gym at Beeville’s First United Methodist Church.

Before 8 a.m., they were invited inside to take a seat on chairs provided, offered a cup of coffee or juice, and waited for the Mission Team members to finish setting out all the canned and boxed goods, frozen chickens, breads and desserts on the long tables.

When the volunteers were ready at the registration and checkout tables, assisting at the food tables or with wagons to carry out the heavy bags of food to the waiting vehicles, the crowd began going through the line 10 persons at a time when called.

Familiar with the drill, the Methodist volunteers and many longtime customers exchanged words of greeting, smiles and hugs.

The entire operation of caring and sharing was accomplished in about an hour and half. The tables and chairs were taken down and loaded on carts along the gym walls, and wagons were stored away until the next food distribution, hosted on the second Saturday of every month.

The FUMC Food Bank began more than 15 years ago with money left over from a donation for the annual Community Christmas Dinner. It has become a “loaves and fishes” story, as money and food donations have continued to come in, and the Food Bank is still helping to meet the needs of Bee County families.

The program receives monthly donations from the Corpus Christi Food Bank, bakery goods from the local H-E-B store, as well as financial and food donations from groups and individuals in the church and community. For two years now, it has received grants from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation.

The FUMC Food Bank is followed by The Table at that church, which serves a noon meal on the third Saturday of the month, and the First Baptist Church Food Bank on the fourth Saturday of the month.
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