Food outreach can feed the need for the Van Buren community

by | June 9, 2018 8:46 am

By Hansel Moore, contributor

There are many good things that are marked by a certain day of the year, and bring fond memories with each annual passing.

One such day recently happened in Van Buren County. The day just came and went as most people probably didn’t even realize the significance of the day.

I was sitting in a small brick building across from the Van Buren high school, drinking a cup of coffee and catching up on some of the local news events.   That’s when Kevin Bivins nonchalantly announced that it was the four-year anniversary to the volunteers who were present at the Van Buren Food Outreach.

That probably doesn’t seem to be a big deal to many people in the county, but this group has had a silent impact on hundreds of Van Buren residents.   For more than 200 Thursdays, a dedicated group of volunteers have gathered together to start the day in prayer and then share love with their neighbors.

Each week, about 70-100 people are greeted with a smile and helping hands as they fill a box, basket, or bag to carry their items to the car. There is always a person or three who are willing to help those with physical limitation to collect their items and make sure they get to the back seat or trunk.

“There is a wide range of items that are available, and the variety changes each week,” shared Bivins, the official leader of the pack.

Although it doesn’t take long to know that “Mom” (Carol) can still use her motherly skills to get things done when needed.

“Nobody is turned away, and we will help anyone in need,” she said. “We ask for a $2 dollar donation to help defray some of the cost, but if they don’t have it, that’s OK.”   (There is logistical cost for electricity, rent, insurance, gas, and vehicle.)

Finding the Food outreach is not very difficult. The front windows are covered in a translucent yellow sign and two-foot letters.   The hours of operation are 9-11 a.m., on Thursdays. If you are in need of food, bring something to take your items home with you. Come and meet the crew that is lending a helping hand to the community and share a joke or two.

If you are looking for a way to help, need volunteer hours, or are being volunteered for community service, contact Kevin Bivins at (931) 808-6900.   If you have a desire to help this important community asset financially, contact Kevin Bivins as well.

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