St. Marks services community through growing food pantry

Published 7:00 pm Friday, November 27, 2020

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During the nationwide times of uncertainty, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church has remained a constant beacon of hope and humanity for Troy and the Pike County area.

For more than 10 years, St. Mark’s has operated a Food Pantry as part of its mission of community outreach.  What started as a simple beans and rice ministry, has grown to provide thousands of pounds of groceries a month to those most in need.

The Food Pantry’s community outreach team, led by Suzanne Price, is grateful for its partnership with the Montgomery Area Food Bank.  “The Food Bank is a pleasure to work with. We have the opportunity to directly impact our community through this effort,” said Price. “Hunger is a top need here in Troy, and we, here at St. Mark’s, are blessed to be able to help flatten the hunger curve.”

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The Food Pantry is run by a team of volunteers which include drivers, packers, loaders and donors.  The Pantry has several distribution locations throughout the city, Charles Henderson Child Health Center (1300 N. US Hwy 231), the Boys & Girls Club (1318 N Three Notch Street), and, of course, at the St. Mark’s Church Office (405 W. College Street).

The selflessness of the Food Pantry has afforded St. Mark’s the ability to expand its ministry through community partnerships with the Organized Community Action Program, Inc. (OCAP) as well as Flowing Brook, Inc.  The Food Pantry and OCAP entered into partnership in a joint community initiative, “Hunger No More” which targets individuals and families within the most ignored segments of the community.  The initiative is one of OCAP’s Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) programs. “OCAP’s entire existence is to lead the fight on poverty in all areas it serves,” said Isaiah Scott, OCAP’s grant writer. “St. Mark’s is a family rooted in selfless service, forward thinkers, and true movers and shakers. Their passion for Kingdom building is evident in their authentic mission work.” 

Flowing Brook’s Executive Director, Shabrell Reynolds, ran across a flyer for the Food Pantry and immediately took action. “I saw their advertisement and I knew I wanted to help,” said Reynolds. Flowing Brook has donated over 100 pounds of perishable and nonperishable food items with more drives planned.

COVID-19 has drastically increased the need for this service.  Families are out of work; bills are due and the basic need of food is forever present.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, St. Mark’s Pantry ha distributed 6 tons of food to the Troy area.  Its mission is to help as many people as possible; all are welcome.

Please call the church office at (334) 566-2619 for more information.