by Stephanie Baker
Several hundred vehicles from across Johnson County line up in the solar plant parking lot on Highway 64 across from Clarksville Seventh Day Adventist Church every Tuesday morning between 8 and 10 a.m. as local residents wait to pick up a box of donated food and produce to feed their families.
Happy despite the summer heat, volunteers of all ages, including many families, take time to say hello, ask about their lives and families, and pray with community members awaiting their boxes. The pantry is well stocked with volunteers who work in an assembly line inside to pack the boxes, while others transport them outside, where even more are ready to load them into the public’s cars.
Faces light up as people receive boxes filled with a cornucopia of berries, broccoli, celery, cheese, yogurt, peppers, and bananas. Most of them are greeted by name by the volunteers. Having the same volunteers in the same places every week helps build relationships with the families who utilize the pantry, explained Team Leader Melody Mierop, who firmly believes that the food is not the only blessing the pantry provides. In addition to providing healthy meals, the people and those relationships are at the heart of the non-profit.
Read the full story in the September 13 issue of The Graphic.
Photos by Stephanie Baker