Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. In 2016:
41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4 million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat.
A household that is food insecure has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.
Households with children were more likely to be food insecure than those without children
59% of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the major federal food assistance program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (often called WIC)
What do Sandy Webb, Glen Boren, Steve Bennett, Raymond Graham, Johnny Grimes, and Derrald Beck have in common?
They are the seldom-seen volunteers, who do the majority of their hard work on days when the food bank is closed. They drive the truck to pickup food orders at various grocery stores, pickup very large donations from corporate food drives or from stores such as Walmart who donate most every week nearly a ton of food surplus they unload the trucks, and they sort food drives looking for expired items and homemade canned food1.
The most important task this group of unsung heroes does is to restock the shelves. This task involves much more than merely putting cans and boxes on the shelves. They rotate the stock so that the first items in are also the first items out. This prevents us from inadvertently putting an expired item in the boxes .
A second very important task involves maintaining an inventory of the individual items as they stock the shelves in order to ensure as much as possible that, when we are open, there will be enough of each item.
Third, they ensure that the tables in the client area and in the workroom have sufficient filled boxes to meet the initial demand when we open for to assist our neighbors.
Many thanks to our stock crew for all your hard work. The stock crew/warehouse crew/inventory management crew has one major request of our volunteers:
PLEASE DO NOT RESTOCK THE SHELVES WHEN YOU ARE ON DUTY.
1Good Food-Handling Practices will not allow us to stock canned-at-home items.
MCCM’s Sandy Webb, who manages and directs the MCCM food inventory was recently honored by WDEF News 12 and Integrity Chevrolet, as the December 2017 Honoree of their “Do the Right Thing” feature. Each month, WDEF and Integrity honor someone in the Chattanooga Area” that always goes above and beyond, who always does the right thing”.
Sandy Webb and Glen Boren, who largely operate behind the scenes, pickup food from food drives anywhere in the county and food orders from local grocery stores. They unload the trucks, stock the shelves, and maintain the inventory.
Whenever MCCM has a special event Sandy will usually be found helping out as well.
Sandy is a Master Sergeant (Retired) in the U. S. Army. When she is not working hard for MCCM Sandy will be found volunteering for the VFW and the American Legion. In addition, she looks after her Mother-in-Law, “Nonie” Webb, whom she affectionately calls “Mom”.
Thank you Sandy for all you do for MCCM and the people of Marion County.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving, our annual national celebration of Food and Football, and as you remember the things for which you are Thankful, please know how much we are thankful for this community of folks in Marion County who support this ministry through their generosity of time, talent and treasure, and we are thankful for our tireless Volunteers who make this ministry happen.
On Thursday, October 5, 2017, the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) spent the day at MCCM painting the interior and beautifying the exterior. This amazing group of Hunger Heroes, led by Vice-President Shelby Potterfield and CEO and President, Mike Partin arrived early in the morning armed with string trimmers, paint rollers, chainsaws, paint brushes, paint, cleaning supplies and the group of folks ready for a day of hard work.
SVEC, as part of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Day of Service, spent the day at food banks in Grundy and Sequatchie Counties. Later this month SVEC will send a team to Bledsoe County for a Day-of-Service there as well.
Why food banks? “We have a mission to improve everyday life in the communities we serve, and that mission goes far beyond simply keeping the lights on,” says Mike Partin, president/CEO of SVEC. “Our area food banks are an asset to our community, and we are proud to partner with them.”
Long time faithful volunteer and one of the main developers of the Good Neighbors Program, Mary Jo Walker, has decided to retire. Mary Jo volunteered for many years at Metropolitan Ministries (Met-Min) in Chattanooga before coming to us at MCCM.
In 2008, when we decided to attempt to create the Good Neighbors Program at MCCM, we wanted to model it on the best practices of Met-Min and the Good Neighbors Program in Maryville, TN. We met initially with Rebecca Whelchel, the Executive Director at Met-Min, and the Rev. Lou Garcia, who began the programs of Met-Min and with Elizabeth Kabalka from Good Neighbors in Maryville.
When we learned that Mary Jo, a member at Christ Church Episcopal in South Pittsburg, volunteered at Met-Min, we asked Becky and Lou if we could “borrow” her for a while in order to ensure a smooth start to Good Neighbors.
For the last nine years, nearly every Tuesday, Mary Jo was in her office greeting, counseling, and being the face and hands and heart of Jesus Christ to our neighbors who need help.
Thank you hardly seems sufficient to express what you have meant to me and to all of us at MCCM and to our clients.
Mary Jo, we love you and we will miss you greatly. We hope you will drop in and check on us from time-to-time to see how we are doing.