Saturday, November 1, 2008

Granger church opens food bank

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Granger First United Methodist Church has launched a Feed the Hungry Food Bank for area residents.
'With times so tough now for so many, we knew this could help the families who are struggling,' said the Rev. Judy Gotcher.
High gas prices and the economy's downfall inspired the idea for the food bank.
'But we knew we couldn't handle it alone,' Ms. Gotcher said, explaining that the church has a weekly attendance of just 13 people. 'So we worked to make it a community effort.'
It didn't take long for the Granger school district, some area businesses and neighboring churches to get involved. 'All were in favor of the food bank,' Ms. Gotcher said. 'Everybody came together and agreed to help. Several places around town now have food collection boxes set up.'
Hallmark Lanes, a Killeen business, has also agreed to set up a collection box. This widespread support gives Ms. Gotcher reason to believe the food bank will be successful.
The Granger church will serve as the food distribution site. To prepare for that, some remodeling work had to be done.
'The sidewalks on the east side were dilapidated,' Ms. Gotcher said. 'But the City of Granger voluntarily replaced them. Now there's no chance of anyone falling down.'
The food bank's kick-off is set for Nov. 20. In support of it, the various student councils from the Granger school district have been holding food drives for the past several weeks.
'People in need of food are welcome to come in,' Ms. Gotcher said. 'There'll be some forms to fill out, but nobody will be turned away.'
After the Nov. 20 event, the Granger food bank will be open once every two weeks. Operational hours will be posted at First Granger United Methodist Church. An emergency number will also be posted.
'People should call that number only if they have no other way of getting food,' Ms. Gotcher said. 'We're hoping that in this way, we can help as many people as we can.'
The Feed the Hungry Food Bank is for the residents and families of Granger. Its theme is 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' and its mission is to make sure no family goes hungry in Granger.
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How to help
Food donations and monetary contributions are welcome at Granger First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Granger. Volunteers will also be needed as the food bank becomes operational. Call 254-541-2089.

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