By Steve and Donna Daly
Quietly and behind the scenes, every weekend at New Life there is a logistical marvel orchestrated by Dyan De Jong-Fischer – keeping the Food Cupboard up and running, providing nutritional support for both local brothers and sisters and for various charitable organizations in Philadelphia. It starts with generous food donations from Trader Joe’s in North Wales made available each Saturday and Sunday morning. These donations are picked up, brought to the church, sorted and readied for our local clients. Food not needed locally is then picked, packed and delivered to sites in the City.
The food donations include fresh fruit and vegetables, a huge variety of breads, cakes and pies, meats and cheeses, and various canned goods. It is curious to see how the donated food varies along with the seasons – massive amounts of strawberries in the early summer, fresh greens throughout the summer and apples, apples and more apples in the fall.
It takes a number of dedicated volunteers to keep this nutritional supply chain operating, including young children, wide-eyed and waiting to see what type of cookies “accidentally” open for them to sample once their work is done, and the rest of us slightly more mature folks. My wife Donna and I pick up the donations at Trader Joe’s one or two Sundays a month and help with sorting the delivered food throughout the month. We are a small part of the overall effort, but we feel blessed to be able to contribute. When we joined New Life a bit more than a year ago, we were looking to be part of a “hands on” ministry and we found this working with the rest of the wonderful volunteers in the Food Cupboard ministry. Being part of a team of people in a Ministry truly blessed by God makes us feel we are really part of our Father’s plan.
The Food Pantry can always use more help and more people to pitch in. Helping out with this ministry is an enriching experience, and the spirit of the team is contagious as we wait each week to see the amount and variety of the donations: “Is this a good week for bread?”, “Wow – there is a good amount of meat this week!’, “Eggs! We don’t see much of these.” Come by and check out the ministry – before you know it – you’ll be hoping and praying with us to see what our Father makes available for our blessed clients.