In the spirit of loving their neighbors, Lawrence Chapel United Methodist Church, Central, has expanded its drive-up food pantry.
The new, larger structure—dubbed the Goodness Grocery—was officially opened with a blessing from the Rev. Mollie Bame Reddic on March 13.
More capacity means the pantry can expand its offerings: fresh produce from local farmers; pet food and supplies; diapers and feminine hygiene products; and grooming kits with basics like a toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, body wash and a razor.
Guests at the Goodness Grocery are also able to submit prayer requests, and these pleas are lifted up during Sunday’s worship service.
A lot of work went into the expansion, which was bolstered by two grants. In March 2021, the Connectional Ministries division of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church awarded more than $3,700 to help pay for the construction of the 8- by 4-foot food pantry. In November, the food pantry received $2,500 from Dabo Swinney’s All-In Foundation to purchase fruit, vegetables and other goods from local farmers.
Demand from throughout the community remains strong—the food pantry shelves are restocked almost every day. The drive-up format was particularly suitable at the height of the pandemic. A food pantry committee and volunteers help ensure that neighbors are well served. And the congregation has been spiritually and financially supportive of the effort.
Members at Lawrence Chapel feel blessed that they can demonstrate its mission “to practice the love and teachings of Jesus” with this food ministry.
The food pantry was birthed out of the Forward Focus experience that Lawrence Chapel went through roughly four years ago.