Whole Man Ministries’ food pantry program started 2013 off with a bang, thanks to a donation from the Food Lion Charitable Foundation.
Store Manager John Martin presented a $3,500 check from the Foundation – which supports hunger relief efforts in the nearly one dozen states where Food Lions are located – to the nonprofit on New Year’s Eve at his Waughtown Street store.
“This donation is incredible,” said Whole Man Pastor Barry Washington, who oversees the Old Lexington Road church and its outreach organization. “It’s going to go a long ways. We’re going to feed quite a few families (with it).”
Washington said he and his wife Camilla founded Whole Man Ministries in 2006 to address a variety of immediate community needs.
“We need to be there for the whole man: the body, soul and the spirit,” explained the Raleigh native.
[pullquote]It’s going to go a long ways. We’re going to feed quite a few families (with it).[/pullquote]The organization is currently serving nearly 90 families each month through its food pantry program, which is supported in part by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Whole Man also operates a community center, a jail and prison ministry and hosts monthly clothing giveaways in partnership with Wrangler Jeans company, Washington said. A low cost after school program was slated to start yesterday, and the ministry hopes to begin offering transitional housing to homeless veterans by the end of the year, he added. With donation pools continuing to shrink, the church has become adept at stretching every dollar it receives.
“This is the beginning of something great,” he declared upon receiving the check. “We’ve been doing this for over five years – feeding families – and of course with the economic crisis, the need has increased.”
Founded in 2001, the Food Lion Foundation gives out more than $1 million a year to deserving agencies, and often these donations are made based on the recommendations of local stores, Martin said. Whole Man Ministries is one of the store’s Southeast neighbors.
Sunnyside Ministries of Kernersville was slated to receive a $3,500 donation from the Foundation on Wednesday. Martin, a native of Davidson County, said he was glad he could help facilitate the gifts.
“For me, it’s definitely rewarding,” said Martin, who has managed the Waughtown store for the past two years. “You aren’t just going into a community thinking you’re going to make money off it, but you’re actually supporting. They (community members) support us, and we support them. It’s definitely a joint venture.”
Whole Man member Gerald Green said he wasn’t surprised to see this particular Food Lion giving back to the community it serves. The Kernersville resident said the store is known for its friendly, caring atmosphere.
“I used to live in this area and I come to this Food Lion still because I like the feeling that I get when I come here. Everyone is real personable,” Green said. “Knowing that they support the community (as well) is great.”
Camilla Washington, who is also a Whole Man pastor, agreed.
“This $3,500 says that even though you might be a part of Corporate America, you still have concern for people right here in the city,” she said. “We’re just blessed.”
Martin said the Foundation is eager to donate to deserving agencies.
“Companies don’t need to be afraid to ask how we can help,” said the father of three. “Most of the stores that we have, they want to help and they just don’t know who to get in contact with. We definitely need these agencies stepping up to ask how they can get help.”
For more information about the Food Lion Charitable Foundation, visit charitablefoundation.foodlion.org. For more information about Whole Man Ministries, visit wholemanministries.com or call 336-785-2080.