By Cindy Solomon

Scott’s United Methodist Church in Shelbyville received a $1,200 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, a ministry of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. The grant helped launch the church’s Seasoned with a Touch of Salt food ministry, a lifelong vision of Scott’s UMC member Barbara Draine.

Recognizing area seniors’ need for additional food, Draine and other Scott’s UMC members prayed about and then organized a food pantry. Launched in October 2019, the pantry opens its doors once a month to the public. One hundred percent of the grant funds were used to purchase food for the pantry.

“In an age when grandparents are taking care of grandchildren and income is limited due to being on Social Security, seniors are having making decisions such as food versus medicine,” said Scott’s UMC pastor The Rev. Virginia Yeargins. “This should not be. The outcry was loud, and we heard and took action.”

Initially, the church ministry fed 30 families. Now, only a year later, the ministry has grown by more than 100 percent—62 families are being fed monthly.

God is at work through Seasoned with a Touch of Salt not only with the congregation but in the community.

“I would not have made it through the month without your pantry. I thank God for your being in my community,” said one recipient, a  72-year-old woman.

An 80-year-old homebound man, confined to a wheelchair, started crying when volunteers delivered food to him.

“I have lived here for years and no one has ever thought of me,” he said. “Your bringing me food is a blessing from God. God Bless Scott’s congregation!”

Noting that need extends beyond nutrition, Yeargins said the congregation also provides referral services and gives spiritual encouragement in a world experiencing social injustice and financial insecurity.

“New ministries are being explored. People who have never taken an active role in church are engaged in the feeding ministry,” said Yeargins. “We have seniors in the community calling and volunteering to help.”

Thankful for the initial Golden Cross Foundation grant that helped launch the feeding ministry, Scott’s UMC members look forward to a continued faithfulness in volunteering, giving, and receiving.

“We give thanks to God for those who are benefitting from Seasoned with a Touch of Salt food pantry ministry,” said Yeargins. “Above all, we give thanks to God for His blessing upon the ministry.”