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HomeAt Home & BeyondGreater Love Outreach Ministries practices what they preach

Greater Love Outreach Ministries practices what they preach

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With the price of groceries skyrocketing, many families and individuals find that they can’t stretch their budget to buy all the food they need. Local food pantries fill this need.

Greater Love Outreach Ministries and Pastor Yvonne Woods have operated a food pantry out of a trailer on the church grounds for the past six years. Each week they receive groceries of all kinds from the Farm Share Distribution Agency. These items include everything to prepare healthy nutritious meals−from fresh vegetables and fruit to shelled walnuts, canned meats and shelf stable foods, such as pasta and rice. They even receive whole chickens which they store in one of the four freezers in the trailer. Publix Super Market donates bakery goods, such as bread, pastries and cake.

“We get enough so that people can make several meals,” says Pastor Woods.
A number of volunteers help bag and distribute the food to the dozens of people who show up each week. Some of the volunteers are church members, while others are people from the community. People on probation who need to fulfill their community service hours come to help also. Sometimes they even have homeless individuals who volunteer. The pastor’s daughter, Adrienne Bostic, runs the food bank.

“Just helping people is one of the most gratifying things about being part of the operation,” states Ms. Bostic.

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The food pantry is open twice a week−Tuesdays and Thursday from 10:30 am to 1 pm. On average, sixty to seventy people a week utilize their services. These include families and individuals. Some are young people who have lost their income and perhaps aren’t eligible for food stamps. Some are senior citizens on Social Security.

“Some of the seniors who come tell us that they’re so thankful for the food because by the time they pay their rent and utilities, they don’t have money to buy food. One lady told me she had only $12 left over,” remarks Pastor Woods.
People hear about the food bank by word of mouth. They also get referrals from social service agencies, such as the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF).

Each time a recipient comes in, they fill out a form stating their name, address, how many people are in the household, their source of income and whether or not they’re on any type of assistance. However, there are no income restrictions or other eligibility requirements to obtain the food. They need to show that they’re a resident of Hernando County, but if they come from another county they’re not turned away.

The food bank keeps a daily log and then sends a monthly report to the Farm Share Agency. They also keep a record of deliveries and an inventory sheet.
Pastor Woods believes that the problem of food insufficiency has increased since Covid-19 and continues to get worse. One of the church’s goals is to replace the old trailer they’ve been using with a newer one. They’ve found one for $12,900 from a company that will remove the old unit, set up the new trailer and even install handicap ramps. They are starting a fundraising drive to make this goal a reality.

Proverbs 22:9 states, “Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.” Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink.”

Pastor Woods and the volunteers at the Greater Love Outreach Ministries epitomize these virtues.

The food pantry is located at 20053 Yontz Road. If you are in need of the food pantry services or if you wish to volunteer or donate to their fundraiser, you can reach Pastor Woods at 352-585-7328 or email her at [email protected].

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