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Hill Avenue Grace’s Food Shelf Ministry Meets Area Needs

The Grace Food Shelf in action on Saturday, January 6, with volunteers Pat and David Fortmeier. Photos: Julianne Rose.


Recipient of a 2017 SWC Synod Mission and Ministry Grant, the Hill Avenue Grace, Pasadena Food Shelf ministry is open every Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30, rain or shine. It services 50 to 70 homeless and underprivileged individuals and families every week for most of the year, also providing hygiene kits. At Thanksgiving, the ministry distributes 40 complete turkey dinners and 60 $10 gift cards from Tops, a local fast-food restaurant. During the holiday months, demand increases, and Hill Avenue Grace serves upwards of 70 to 90 people.

It costs $1,500 monthly to resupply the Food Shelf Ministry, which could not operate without a very supportive congregation. Members donate both food and money throughout the year, and for turkey dinners and the Tops cards at Thanksgiving. Members also volunteer to work at the food shelf each Saturday, together with youth minister Matt Braaten and some youth members working every second Saturday.

During the winter months, individuals can sign up for a blanket and receive one the following week, and recipients are never questioned about their need.

“Thank you to synod congregations for helping to support this ministry” says council member Steve Rose. “There is a definite need in Pasadena for this type of endeavor. We provide an information sheet to clients to identify other food pantries and free meals in the community. Currently, we are the only opportunity on Saturdays for people in this area to get food.”