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Jeremiah Fund – Kevin McLaughlin: Loaves and Fishes

Inspired by God’s words to the exiles in Babylon through the prophet Jeremiah, Church at Charlotte’s Elders established The Jeremiah Fund which focuses on engaging our congregation to seek the welfare of the city of Charlotte. Grants are distributed through CAC members to local non-profit organizations they actively serve. Grants are awarded for $750 to these organizations if certain criteria are met. Learn more and apply for a Jeremiah Fund grant. 

Quite a few years ago my wife Kathryn and I wanted to get involved in our community. We started delivering food each month to the food pantry at Eastern Hills Baptist Church on Saturday mornings. We then saw the need they had for volunteers and started to volunteer each month. We took a few years off from volunteering recently, but are now back helping out regularly at Eastern Hills near Albemarle Road and Independence Boulevard.

To receive food through Loaves & Fishes, you are referred from a pastor or social worker to come to the pantry. Loaves & Fishes works to bridge the gap for basic food needs in the community. This assures that those truly in need are being served.

Being personally involved with helping people pick out food that they need on a Saturday morning, and getting to spend a small amount of time getting to know them in this process, has been the best part of serving with Loaves & Fishes. We do not pick out and bag the food, but help the people that come pick out their food, and have conversations while they are selecting the food that they would like for their family.

Once or twice a month, we serve by opening up the doors, and then helping people pick out food, and helping them load the food into their car, or cart to take home on the bus. We restock the two pantries, and then lock up when the hours close on Saturday.

I think just being open to serving at the food pantry, and listening to who comes in is a big part of the ministry at Loaves & Fishes. Sometimes we do not speak the same language as those who come, but we can communicate with kindness and do the best we can to help. Any one of us could have this same need a year from now, so it is important to serve and show the love of Jesus to others who are struggling with physical needs.

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