by Vickie Jenkins
There are a few churches around the metro area that offer a food pantry to those people that need a little extra hand every now and then. Mayfair church of Christ is one of those generous churches.
Meet David Ellis where you will find him here at the church different days of the week, different times of the day, and a lot of his time is spent in a room at the back of the church; designated as The Food Pantry. He will be doing his job as he serves as the food pantry coordinator.
“It all started fourteen years ago with a man named Jerry Bostick who actually started the food pantry at the church. Things were a little different back then,” David said. “There was a closet, literally, a closet, on the other side of the church, where a few boxes of food were stored and a few people picked up a few things. It was twelve years ago that I volunteered to help out. I’m still doing it,” he said with a smile. “Sometimes, I feel like maybe I got shanghaied into it, he laughed. “I really do enjoy it and it makes me feel good to be helping out. Since I am retired, I consider this my full-time job.”
Just for an update, In June, the pantry served 84 households consisting of 251 persons, (40 seniors, 122 adults and 89 children) we have received 34 cases (40 pounds each) of canned food as our portion of the Mail Carriers Food drive held in May. Distributions will begin when the Pantry opens on July 10, 2019. The hours of the Pantry will be each Wednesday 3-5 and the last Monday of each month 10-noon.
How do people hear about the Food Pantry? “Word of mouth is the biggest. Most of the people that come by to pick up food have been coming for several years. On the other hand there are some people that come one time during the whole year. We are here, come rain or shine,” David replied.
David explained how the people get approved to accept food from the food pantry. “The people have to qualify to register for the food pantry; they have to be in one of the six approved zip codes, meet federal income guidelines, show a picture ID and bring some type of document that verifies their address. We get shipments of food from the food bank which includes USDA meats, bread, vegetables, fruit, staples, canned goods and dry goods. We then take special care to bag the groceries according to the size of their family.”
How does David feel about being the food pantry coordinator? “It makes me feel good about the situation, especially when the people come in the very first time. They are not sure what to expect or not sure how to accept the help. I just want to make them feel comfortable and let them know that we are willing to help them,” David replied
“Even though I am the food pantry coordinator, there are plenty of others that use their time to serve others too; the volunteers…say there is a lot of work that goes into the food pantry but it is all well worth it. I am thankful for the people here at the church that are willing to serve,” David said. “I call that teamwork, he added.
On a personal note, David and his wife Elaina just celebrated their 50th anniversary on June 21st. Their families, along with their four grandchildren, were fortunate to be in town for the big celebration.
Because of his past experiences in life, his organizations skills were remarkable. ‘I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was preparing me for this job back then,” he said with a smile. “Running the food pantry takes a lot of organization, from ordering the food, to making sure there is enough for the families each month. We usually distribute about 3000 pounds of food, a little less than a ton. That is a lot of food!”
Asking if David had any words of encouragement, he said, “Well, my daughter said, ‘you are really a glass-half-full guy, aren’t you?’ I agreed with her, wondering what she meant. I laughed at the thought. All in all, yes, I am the Food Pantry Coordinator at Mayfair Church of Christ. I am happy to serve others.”
If you would like more information about Mayfair Church of Christ, located at 2340 N.W. 50, Oklahoma City, OK 73112 or call 405-842-2993