North Sparta Church of God teams up with Walmart and Pepsi

Posted By | January 6, 2014 12:00 am

Leader of the food pantry, Susan Lewis, and Stacy Scott of the food pantry work with Sparta Walmart associates to end hunger in White County.

Raela Gore
Staff Writer
In a community service action, Walmart and Pepsi have partnered with North Sparta Church of God in an effort to end hunger in White County.
To feed the hungry, customers and employees have been encouraged to donate non-perishable food items. The North Sparta Church of God food pantry distributes the donated food to those in need. More than 2,000 items were donated; countless cans, Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, soups and other food items were given.
The North Sparta Church of God food pantry has been around for approximately two years. Susan Lewis was inspired to begin the organization from a personal experience in her family. When her mother suffered health problems, she saw the struggle her mother had and wanted to help others like her.
“She worked her whole life, but then she got breast cancer,” Lewis said. “She wasn’t able to work anymore, so she was on a fixed income. She was struggling every month, and she had worked her whole life.”
Although this program has fed many, this is not the first time North Sparta Church of God has reached out to those in need. The food pantry regularly responds to families in need who contact them.
Last summer, a supplemental grant allowed the food pantry to service children in White County. Many children regularly eat with the help of free and reduced meals at school, but may not have those nutritional resources during the summer. To ensure that these children did not go hungry during the summer months, North Sparta Church of God partnered with Walmart to give approximately 700 deliveries of food.
Volunteers made deliveries twice per week. Peggy Harmann of North Sparta Church of God remembered how involved and caring the volunteers were.
“Sometimes a volunteer would know that a child liked a certain food, like fresh fruit, and would make sure to get some for that child,” she said.
Although there was an emphasis on nutritional food deliveries, volunteers liked to encourage the children by bringing them fun things, as well. Volunteers brought crafting supplies and stories for the children to read. They hoped to end hunger, but also to build self-esteem among youth. The volunteers often bonded with the kids they frequently visited, creating an opportunity for the volunteers to help them build confidence.
The church came together to work toward a common goal for the summer project. The youth became involved by separating and bagging food for the children. Members of the church researched for the best deals so the church could give as much as they possibly could.
“I just felt the Lord leading me to do this,” Lewis said. Lewis hopes the food pantry will continue to bless others and is thankful for all who contributed to making it possible.

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