She’s the person you look forward to seeing – the person with a smile…a friendly word for everyone…always willing to help. That’s Annette Howard, who has been a member of an FSA food security group for eight years. Although confined to a wheelchair, Annette is an inspiration to all at the bi-weekly meetings.
How does she stay so cheerful? “I talk to God, although I do have my days. Coming to a food security group is like having a church for me. I like mingling with people and encouraging people.”
Annette knows that by being a member of the food security group “I’m helping families, not only for myself.” She helps watch children during the meetings, helps with sign-ins and shares her extra food “with other friends in need”.
What difference has the food security group made to you? “It helps me with my budget and finances. The fresh vegetables help with my health.”
Pictured: Annette Howard (right) and Linda Merrell (left)
AFFILIATE CORNER: Working Together For a Greater Tomorrow
Article: Blake Tommey
As summer 2015 commenced in Little Rock, Arkansas, Pulaski Heights Baptist Church was ready for something different, something authentic. They already knew that 19.2 percent of Arkansas’s population was unsure as to where their next meal would come from given that Arkansas is tied for the worst food insecurity rate in the country. But as they surveyed Little Rock’s food pantry landscape, they found mostly duplications of the same transactional model, said Mande Corbett, co-coordinator of PHBC’s Friends and Neighbors Network. Pulaski Heights congregants, on the other hand, wanted a relationship with distressed neighbors in their community.
“A lot of food pantries are just a transaction,” Corbett says. “Deeper relationships are just not feasible when you’re trying to reach a large number of folks. That can get unwieldy. With that many people, it’s not practical to have much more than a transaction; so the interaction remains on the surface.”
Corbett and her congregation persisted in their search. A recent study of Bob Lupton’s momentous book, Toxic Charity, which examines the harmful effects of traditional giver-receiver charity and champions ministry that fosters mutuality, dignity and self-empowerment had completely opened their eyes, Corbett says, not only to the toxic effects of transactional giving, but to an alternative food pantry model that preserves self-respect and common ground amongst participants. Lupton highlighted Food Security for America's model, and it really resonated with Pulaski Heights members, she adds,
as church members approved funding that summer to create a Friends and Neighbors Network alternative
food pantry, or FANN.
Click HERE to read the entire article from Little Rock, Arkansas, Pulaski Heights Baptist Church.
BIENNIAL STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
Saturday, October 19
Every other year FSA hosts a brunch and extended gathering open to members of any of the 29 food security groups run by 17 different organizations in Georgia.
The focus for the 2019 event is Encouraging Members to Leadership.
The 2019 gathering will be from 9:00 – 12 noon on Saturday, October 19 at The Atlanta Community Food Bank on Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard.
FSA subsidizes the morning, with attendees contributing $8.
Has anyone conducted any surveys, questionnaires or evaluations in the last few years? Other efforts to quantify the positive changes that the program makes in members' lives? If so, please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are building a library of such reports to share with everyone.
YOUR DONATION CHANGES LIVES
Mark your calendar! #GIVINGTUESDAY is December 3rd, 2019. But you don't need a hashtagged or trending event to donate! Every dollar counts towards giving families the hand up that makes way for the confidence to improve their lives!