At the Vineyard Church of Greater Portland we are committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We believe in providing help to those in need within the body of Christ, the local community and those experiencing extreme hardship around the world. The Vineyard believes everyone has something to offer and a part to play. We encourage members to participate in a ministry area they are passionate about and can commit their time, energy and gifts. We feel the heart of God is revealed to us in James 1:27a, paraphrased by Eugene Peterson:
“Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight.”
The Food Pantry, operating under the Mercy Ministry, is currently offering groceries weekly – fresh, frozen and canned. The Food Pantry also offers as well as USDA commodities to members and people in the community who are in need.
How we do it…
Wayside Food Rescue Team: This group travels to the Sanford warehouse as needed to pick up USDA food to be distributed throughout our program.
Food Pantry Facility Team: This team keeps the food pantry up and running by overseeing the cleaning and purchasing of supplies needed to process donated foods. They also oversee the purchasing and servicing of the refrigeration.
Sort and Store Team: This team examines all of the received goods for freshness and bags fruits and vegetables before storage. They also sort and shelve canned and boxed items and do overall inventories of food after distribution days. This group meets Thursday Mornings from 9 to noon.
Distribution Team: This team assists those in need with food selection on Friday evenings. They also help with completing registration forms, bagging selections and greeting folks as they come.
Delivery Team: This group assists with weekday emergencies as needed. In addition members deliver pre-bagged groceries on Thursdays at 11:30 am to those who are unable to make it to the church.
Hannaford’s Collect Team: We need volunteers to drive to the Hannaford’s in Windham or Westbrook to do a fresh food pick-up once a week. You must have access to a van or SUV as there is often quite a bit of food donated. This group meets Thursday mornings at 9am.
Who can participate?
We are always looking for volunteers in each of the areas previously listed. Everyone is welcome and anyone can help. If you have a couple hours on Thursday morning we need drivers to pick up food at Hannaford stores, sort and organize or deliver to shut-ins. If you have a couple hours Friday evening we can use help giving out food and supplies to people in our community who come for assistance. Even if you can only serve once each month for a couple hours we can use your help and you will be truly blessed. The joy you will experience in serving others in this very tangible way is exciting and indescribable. We have a wonderful time of fellowship while we serve the Lord and his people!
Why we do it…
Remember what it says in Matt. 25:37-40 (NIV)
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ “
Doug and Amy Clements take this commission seriously and are working on more ways to serve our church and community. As this grows the need for volunteers is ever present. Give them a call, send an email or see them in church. They would love to talk to you.
Looking for more information? Looking to sign up to participate in this ministry? Follow this link to the Get Involved Form!