Church: Church of Peace - Richfield
District: Twin Cities
Submitted by: Rev. Gerry Vuchetich
Richfield’s Church of Peace regularly sees about 60 to 65 people for worship. So in 2011, when it decided to take on the task of packing meals for a food shelf program, members weren’t sure they’d be able to do it.
The Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People food shelf, located in Bloomington, needed emergency bags of groceries for people unable to wait for the next available food pantry appointment. Typically it takes four to five days for families to get processed into the system, so Church of Peace was enlisted to feed these families in the interim.
At first, the church packed 40 bags per month, each with thirteen identical items, including spaghetti and sauce, a green vegetable, and rice and beans. Families in need that received the bags were given one for every two people, and it would feed them for three days.
Church of Peace was eventually packing as many as 70 bags per month and now averages about 50. By initiating buying agreements with local grocery stores like Lunds, Cub Foods, and Aldi, the church has been able to cut the typical $15 to $20 cost per bag down to about $10.
Partnerships with grocery stores have enabled the church’s gifts of food to go farther, and they demonstrate what’s possible when different organizations within a community work together. But for a church of its size, $10 per bag is still quite an investment and is made possible only through the generosity of its members and their commitment to helping people who need it most.
“Members have gone above and beyond their normal monthly giving to make this happen,” says Pastor Gerry Vuchetich. “Over the last two years, we’ve donated 31,800 pounds of food for these needy families.
“We include a card that says it’s been donated from Church of Peace, with our worship time and location,” Vuchetich says. “This is something we can do to give back to the community around us.”
Learn more about Church of Peace.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404