The Golden Valley church in Clinton, Missouri recently hosted their monthly mobile food pantry, serving one of their largest crowds to date—716 people representing 205 families.

The pantry, a partnership between the church and Harvesters Community Food Network, opens on the third Monday of each month. It was initiated by the church’s previous pastor, Alan Harvey, and has been operating since 2015. Because food services are considered essential during this time—and that it’s now even harder for families to remain food secure—the church decided to continue operating it even though weekly church services and many other activities are currently suspended.

Even under normal circumstances, an outdoor food pantry comes with many challenges. As you might imagine, there are a lot more now. The church’s community services coordinator, Marva Wellborn, in cooperation with Harvesters and the local church board, has added additional safety precautions such as protective masks and gloves, and procedures have been put in place to limit our interaction with clients.

As in the past, people express appreciation as they receive their food. But there seemed to be even more expressions of gratitude this month, with some even displaying signs. We are blessed to be able to serve so many families, and we are thankful for all of the volunteers who make it possible. Church members who volunteer, thank you! Those who join us from the community in serving these families, thank you! There are actually more of you than there are of us, and we couldn’t do it without you. Thanks!