Hope Food Pantry – Week 9

Kaleo, my church family
Where I Went:
Hope Food Pantry is a ministry of the Living Hope Church in Aloha, OR. I met the pantry coordinator, Linda, the first time I did a route for Beaverton School District’s Fork It Over program. I shared with her about the new church my family attends, Kaleo, and our mission to be a serving presence in the community.
Kaleo is a church plant that just started meeting weekly in February. The monthly schedule looks a bit different than traditional churches. We do meet most Sunday mornings at 10:30a.m. for responsive worship, but on the 4th Sunday of every month we will be out in the neighborhood together, living out our call to mission:

We value, as followers of Jesus, the investment of time and energy into ministries and personal acts of compassion, mercy and justice that impacts individuals and the communities of which we are all a part.  

The Job:
A few weeks ago, our pastor and I toured the Hope Food Pantry with Linda to find out what task she had in store for us. Hundreds of grocery bags full of donated food stacked on top of each other in a spare room. Linda asked if our group could organize the chaos so pantry volunteers could quickly pop in to find the desired items easily.
Try to find a can of tuna in that!
As we toured the building, Linda showed us the children’s waiting room. “Someday I’d love this room to be bright and welcoming,” she sighed “a place kids want to be.”
Pastor and I looked at each other. Yeah, we knew people who could do that. Our church is full of teachers. They provide a welcoming space for children every day – it’s their job.
The room needed pizzazz.
Sunday afternoon, our small congregation showed up to the food pantry wearing grubbies and holding paint brushes. The “organizers” went to sort food. The “creative types” went to paint a room. I put myself in the food sorting category. I despise painting. In fact, it’s shocking to me that there are people who love it. Thank you, God, for blessing Your children with different gifts!
Unloading the bags out of the room was a chore.

These people like painting. I don’t get it.
You know who is fantastic at food sorting? Kids. The kids in our group were all about sorting Stove Top stuffing boxes, tuna, corn, spaghetti, mac and cheese…they had a system. And they were quick!

The finished rooms were amazing, if I do say so myself. The food room has crates of each item ready to be pulled at a moment’s notice.
The kids waiting room? It’s incredible. I want a room like this.  
Vision designed by the fabulous teacher and creative wonder, Mrs. B.
Here’s what the kids will see when they walk in.
Serving brings our church together; not just physically, but as a community. Kaleo may be starting out small in size, but the compassion we offer as a church family is huge. 
Linda is happy!
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9,10

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