A little bit of history and information regarding the Food Pantry at Calvary Brighton from Cindy Schoepp and Brandi Coffman and a bit about ourselves as to why we have a heart to support this ministry.
I became involved with our pantry in June of 2007. After my retirement from Education I was looking for ways to continue to help families that needed it. I always had a desire to assist people who were struggling and being a classroom Teacher and Mentor/Coach for Teachers I was always trying to help either kids or educators. My parents also instilled an amazing work ethic that has continued on in all of our family. So this has carried over to me wanting to be there to provide food to people who find themselves in tough situations, persevering to support this Ministry for the families that continue to visit the pantry. Growing up, we did not have much, but we always had plenty of food and I can't imagine what it would feel like to be hungry and not have somewhere to seek assistance. So with this desire to help families I remain active in this Ministry, knowing we are showing folks that we care about them and showing them God's love from our church.
One of our volunteers, Brandi Coffman will be coming along side me and we will share the roles of Co-Directors fo the pantry. Brandi shares, "I originally started serving at the food pantry because I was looking for a way connect with the people from the Church. I was new to Calvary Brighton and was having a hard time trying to figure out how to meet people that could still work with my busy schedule. The moment I started serving, I felt a connection to everyone there, but more exciting was the connection I was having to the Lord. We are all called to serve in one capacity or another and this was the first area I felt I was at home. I often explain to my friends and family that my heart has never been so full and I have never felt so alive when I am serving at the pantry. It gives me the opportunity to love on people that my everyday life doesn't allow the opportunity to meet and to be around so many wonderful families that are truly searching for that love. The Lord has allowed me to be in situations where I was being nudged by the Holy Spirit and I was finally able to "hear" Him and act. To be able to pray with people who might not even know the Lord. To witness to people what an amazing and loving God we have."
Now a little bit of the history of our Food Pantry. In the early stages at our previous church location, we were located in a closet area with shelves for the food. Our previous Worship leader then was able to receive food from the Denver Rescue Mission to stock our shelves. Then in 2008 we had to seek food elsewhere and began purchasing our food. We then partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies and our distribution went from a weekly basis to twice a month.
In 2009 an organization called Brighton Shares the Harvest introduced me to the two pantry Directors in Brighton from His Hands Food Pantry and St. Augustine Food Cupboard. Together we met and discussed how we could meet the needs fo the Brighton Community. We collected food and monetary donations from the 9CARES Food Drives that were hosted at the King Soopers. Also our Pantry applied for yearly Grants from the Legacy Foundation to provide us the funds to continue to purchase our food from Food Bank of the Rockies.
When the Church moved to our current location we were able to provide client choice to our folks and also the youth group, which met on Wednesday evenings, was able to join us by adding an additional day to distribute food boxes to the Brighton Community.
Last year during the beginning of COVID, we were closed for about 6 weeks because of our inability to purchase food from Food Bank of the Rockies. Once we were able to purchase food we started back but client choice had changed. Folks now pull up their cars to the front door of the church and we load them up with a box or two of food items that are already ready for them to take home.
Last year we partnered with Community Baptist Food Pantry and applied for a grant From Platte Valley Medical Center for funds to purchase fresh produce for both our pantries. This grant money has given us the opportunity to work collaboratively with another pantry and our clients receive good quality produce.
We recently finished applying for a grant for more funds to buy produce for both pantries and funds for a box truck for our pantry.
We currently distribute to about 35 families each Monday we are open. At times we have had up to 50 families. Most of our boxes are packed with a variety of food items and most people receive two boxes due to the amount of items we have that day to pass out.
If you are looking to serve we could always use a few hands to help set up in the morning and also in the late afternoon on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month to fill up empty boxes and load them into cars. We always welcome funds to the pantry so we can continue to purchase more food items and provide this ministry to our Brighton Community.
If you have any questions about our Food Pantry you may contact Cindy Schoepp at 303-669-8139, or Brandi Coffman at 303-669-4989. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org