Mar 8th- Ribbon Cutting Event at Christian Mission
Ribbon Cutting Event at Giles County Christian Mission
The Giles County Christian Service Mission will host a Ribbon-Cutting event to celebrate the expansion of its food pantry and to formally announce its new partnership with Feeding America Southwest Virginia Wednesday, March 8 at 9:00 a.m. Additionally, the Mission is excited to announce the expansion of its operating hours to include Saturdays beginning March 4.
Recently, the Mission completed a major renovation project to enlarge the capacity of its food pantry. The goal of this project was to increase the number of food boxes the Mission is able to offer to per month and the number of special Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving boxes offered seasonally.
The renovation project included the removal of several interior walls, the addition of new shelving, and the reconfiguration of ductwork and electrical access. At a total cost of $4,000, the renovation has tripled the size of the food pantry. Dave Zimmerman provided the design plan and led a crew of twenty-five volunteers who completed the work over a ten-day period. Pearisburg First United Methodist Church, Pearisburg Christ Fellowship, and Cornerstone Church provided meals for the volunteers over the course of the project.
The Mission is entering into a partnership agreement with Feeding America Southwest Virginia which will also include a USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program. Last year, the USDA distributed nearly $300 million to food insecure individuals and families across the nation. This program would be the first of its kind in Giles County.
Partnering with Giles County and the Town of Pearisburg, the Mission is also beginning the process of grant writing and fundraising to acquire an adjacent property. While final plans are still in development, this property may be used for a “client-select” food pantry in which those in need will be able to specifically choose which food items they most need. Discussions are also being held with the Salvation Army regarding the possibility of offering (1) a soup kitchen or other feeding ministry and (2) additional client support services.
These projects are in response to a recent report from Feeding America that has identified nearly 2,000 citizens of Giles County as “food insecure.” With distribution centers in Salem and Abingdon, the goal of Feeding America Southwest Virginia is to feed area hungry through a network of partner programs and engage the region to join in the fight against hunger. Feeding America Southwest Virginia covers twenty-six counties and nine cities including Giles County, and provides food and support to 380 partner programs.
Serving over 500 Giles County families annually, the Mission distributed over $165,000 in food, clothing, housewares, diapers, and utility assistance in 2016. The Mission is also home of the Angel Tree Ministry for the children and teens in the county through which over 300 angels were adopted and provided with gifts and clothing. Over 6,000 hours were logged by local volunteers who gave valuable service to the Mission in 2016.
This year marks the 51st anniversary of the Giles County Christian Service Mission that was founded by the Giles County Ministerial Association. The Board of the Mission consists of an equal number of clergy and non-clergy. Current board members include Rev. David Bracken, Rev. Dr. Brian Burch, Bernice Davis, Rev. Morris Fleischer, Angie Fox, Rev. Katherine Jackson, Al Katz, Drema McMahon, Trish Muldoon, Sandra Spangler, Rev. Lane Spigener, and Rev. Betsy Switzer.
The Mission is located at 516 Wenonah Avenue in downtown Pearisburg and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. Contact Amy Reynolds, Mission Director, at (540) 921-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.