Food Pantry Ministry
The Bay County Emergency Food Pantry was established in 1983, and Immanuel was a member from the very beginning.
The Immanuel Food Pantry is located in the basement of Immanuel Lutheran School and is open for client referrals four days a week, Tuesday through Friday. It is stocked with food and paper products donated by generous members and friends who recognize that people can have setbacks, illnesses, and situations that require food in an emergency. A chest located in the church narthex is used to collect food donations, which are always needed. Monetary donations are also accepted and are used to supplement items as supplies run low.
Immanuel’s food pantry is also blessed with items donated by food drives from Immanuel’s Boy Scout Troop 119 and by the Bay County Letter Carriers. Michigan Sugar Company donates enough bags of sugar to take care of the entire food network needs for the holiday seasons.
The Food Pantry Network, with a list of clients in need, directs calls from caseworkers to various food pantries in Bay County, including Immanuel’s. The client referrals directed to Immanuel are then passed on to the volunteer pantry workers (about 12 volunteer workers, each one on call one or two days a month). The volunteers then contact and meet with the client to fill an order for a designated number of days for that person or family. Immanuel’s food pantry packs food and supplies for about eight families each month.
In addition to emergency referrals, Immanuel’s food pantry supplies food to individuals or families for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Bay County Emergency Food Pantry Network receives and processes applications and gives the various area food pantries a list of the families that they will serve. In 2012 there were over 700 families area-wide who needed help. Immanuel’s food pantry volunteers packed food and supplies for 61 families at Thanksgiving and 81 families at Christmas. Many of these families said that they didn’t know what they would have done without Immanuel’s help.
The Bay Country Emergency Food Pantry Network and the Immanuel Food Pantry will continue to work together, with God’s blessings, as long as there is a need. More volunteers are always needed to help. If you would be interested in joining the food pantry group or would like more information, please call Immanuel’s church office at 893-4088.