The pantry is open today. From my office I hear the sounds of the people. I hear them come in from the cold. There is stomping of feet to remove the snow and usually a sigh of relief as they feel the warm air on their faces. There is the shuffling of coats being unzipped and spoken warnings of wet and slippery floors.
I hear the bell ding as Linda finishes the registration process. Someone is ready to get their family groceries and clothing for the month. I hear the chairs of the volunteers scrap as they get up to assist the new client. The sound of crinkling bags comes down the hall as items are being bagged up.
From the other side of the pantry I hear the dishes clank together as people eat their warm meal. I hear talking and occasional laughter as they sit and share their stories. The spray of the dishwasher is faint in the background.
To me, these are the sounds of hope. When people enter the Mishawaka Food Pantry, they do so with a spirit of hope. They hope they can find ways to meet their physical needs, but they also hope to find help, care and connection.
These hopes are being met not only by those working here today. They are being met by our partners...businesses, families and individuals that sacrifice to bring hope to our community. The pantry could not continue to be the vessel for this hope without their support.
Whole Foods Market in Mishawaka is just one of those partners. Only January 11th, Whole Foods Market held a Shop for a Cause day. They donated 5% of their sales that day to the Mishawaka Food Pantry. The final total was over $2,200!
This afternoon I will hear the sounds of people bundling back up to head out into the cold and snow. They will be full from lunch and carrying bags full of food, clothing, toiletries and household items. These will not be the only things they leave with though...they will also leave with a bit more hope than when they walked in this morning. Thank you to Whole Foods Market for being a part of that difference.