|Completed*||1st Quarter 2018|
Background and Overview
Building Hope is a community supported project to build a new pantry facility. This new building provides more capacity for both food and visiting clients, and a host of new possibilities for Amazing Grace Food Pantry.
On November 19, 2016, Amazing Grace Food Pantry broke ground for a much needed building. Thanks to many who came to show their support: St Paul Mayor pro tem Robert Simmons, Wylie Mayor pro tem Keith Stephens, Sharing Life CEO Teresa Jackson, Collin County Homeless Coalition Chairwoman Stacy Brown, Retired Pastor Cliff Baugus, Chase Oaks 544 Pastor Craig Rush, Tom Thumb Manager Justin Johnson, Wylie Police Chief Henderson, Wylie Fire Department, The Bridge Connection CEO Ginger Shocklee and many of the faithful volunteers that make this operation possible.
This may seem like a very small step to warrant a large celebration, but the story 2 years ago was very different. The Pantry’s only source of funding was from a church on the property that burned down with no insurance. While the pantry was providing groceries to 750 people every month, our concern was that we wouldn’t be able to maintain the [then] $1000 monthly operation budget. The volunteer-based team felt defeated, but decided to just keep serving clients until the food ran out, then close the doors.
God had a better plan! By His Grace, the lights were never turned off and food never ran out. Amazing Grace Food Pantry now serves a fast growing number (3,271 people in 2017) of people each month with the equivalent to an overflowing grocery cart. Estimates of cost savings to families is over $450 per month. Many hard working families are struggling to make ends meet. Often, the family stress leads to fewer meals, electricity being turned off and sometimes domestic violence and divorce. It’s a privilege to serve God in this way, to lighten the load with providing weekly groceries to families in need and making their visit to the Pantry a pleasant experience.
The old building was small house that looks decent from the outside, but inside it’s falling down and cramped. There was no space for the families to come in out of the weather while they waited for their turn to shop in the 10×10 space. Not good in cold or rainy weather for the elderly or babies.
The new building provides a waiting area, larger shopping area and a smooth, efficient flow. It sits on firm concrete foundation instead of broken beams like the old Pantry house. There is an office available to assist families to apply for food assistance, food stamps and council. Eventually, there will be classes as needed such as GED, budgeting and a faith based 12 step program. Building Hope for the family’s future, building a stronger community in the process.