Tropical atmosphere in the middle of winter
In mid January, my wife and I had the privilege to stay at Opryland Hotel. It is the largest non-gambling hotel complex and convention resort in the US.
It has a magnificent glass atrium covering a ¼ mile river, waterfalls and thousands of tropical plants and trees. Matured papaya and banana trees were bearing fruits! It was because of the tropical atmosphere inside the complex that caused the trees and the plants to grow healthy and to survive all yearlong. The design of the complex, the glass roof, the soil composition and the irrigation system allowed the gardeners to produce an exceptional tropical haven even when the outside temperature is freezing. It was a different reality inside the complex.
Similar to Opryland complex where the tropical plants could live in the middle of freezing environment, Faith Hope and Love Community, Inc. (FHL) believes that we can create a holistic atmosphere in our approach to alleviating hunger in our neighborhoods.
Neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens have the unique role in our neighborhoods not only to provide food but also to identify other needs in the community and by connecting the needs with the available resources. FHL aims to be a catalyst for change by engaging in relationships with food insecure neighbors on their path to self-sufficiency.
Our hope is to help bring change in the lives of those who are physically and spiritually hungry through “missional” food pantries – pantries rooted in relationship with God and with others.
FHL envision connecting fragmented neighborhood efforts to leverage economies of scale and put more residents on the path to self-sufficiency. How do we do this?
Table Talk is a monthly collaboration with the food pantry and soup kitchen leaders in 46208 and the surrounding neighborhoods. During the gatherings every 2nd Thursday at noon at the FHL office, we share best practices and we encourage one another. Collaboration brings unity and empowerment.
Our last Table Talk (#4) 8 pantry leaders shared their thoughts on volunteers, food supply and their core values. Some shared their challenges while others offered possible solutions. Several community resource partners also joined us to uncover the neighborhood needs and to find out how they could assist in serving.
Pantries and soup kitchens are in position to helping people beyond food. With the scale created through the FHL collaborative, all of the neighborhood pantries could benefit from a shared service model.
There would be an opportunity to partner on a community advocate model, mobile pantries, and other projects providing to reduce clients need for emergency food.
We moved our administration office right in the heart of our mission field – 40 West 40th St. to be more available to the community.
Redefining Food Pantry
We could affect our environment through our approach to life by changing our perspectives and attitudes. This could change the physical and spiritual climate of our neighborhoods.
We believe that relationship with God and with others are they keys in neighborhood transformation. Through our partners, FHL assist the pantries and soup kitchens to provide beyond food and affect the culture of our neighborhoods for a better tomorrow. Perhaps, you could bring something to the table that could help revolutionize our approach to alleviating hunger in our midst.
Please contact Merlin Gonzales, President/CEO of Faith Hope and Love Community, Inc. 317-572-5793 or email@example.com