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Season for giving

Feeding Families expands ministry for holidays

By Hope Thompson
For the Enquirer

The Golden Rule provides the foundation for Pastor Edee Grunn’s Feeding Families ministry. “I know what it’s like not to have what you need,” Grunn said.

With this principle in mind, Grunn and her team of volunteers help feed more than 200 families in Morgan County and surrounding counties each month. Every first and third Monday, Grunn fills boxes of food for families and neighbors who are in need of basic necessities, such as groceries and toiletries.

With the return of the holiday season, Grunn has taken the Feeding Families ministry a bit further.

This Thanksgiving the Feeding Families ministry provided those who seek assistance each month with a box of kitchen necessities.

“Instead of putting just one meal in a box with a turkey, we decided our people needed kitchen necessities to sustain them for longer than a day or two,” Grunn explained.

Grunn and her volunteers decided to give each recipient a box filled with pantry staples like flour, sugar, tea, coffee and cornmeal.

“Most of our people don’t have means to cook a turkey,” Grunn explained. “That’s why we decided this year to put together a box of essentials for them to keep in their kitchen.”

To make these boxes even more functional, Grunn included recipes for different dishes that are simple but sustaining. Grunn said she was happy to receive calls from a few of her neighbors asking how to prepare traditional Southern dishes. “It made me happy to see them trying to use the items they had because they really want to learn how to cook for themselves,” Grunn said.

Grunn said she would not have been able to feed more than 230 families this Thanksgiving without the help of the community. Local businesses helped support the ministry by collecting as many supplies as possible. Businesses, as well as Hartselle Junior High students, committed to collecting cake mix, cooking oil, gravy mix and flour for the boxes. Grunn said it is absolutely amazing to see the community come together to fill such a large need.

In addition to the Feeding Families ministry, this year Grunn opened the Pet Pantry.

“For some of our people, especially the elderly, the only companion they have their dog or cat. It’s just as important to provide for that need as it is others,” Grunn said.

Grunn said she has met several people in her ministry who don’t have families to come and visit them, and they don’t get out of the house often enough to have interaction with others. Having a pet is sometimes the only joy or excitement in their week.

“For most people, they are already having to decide what bill to pay that week,” Grunn added. “They shouldn’t have to choose between feeding themselves or their pets, who are like their babies.”

Since opening the Pet Pantry, Grunn said she has been pleasantly surprised at the community support.

While the community is excellent at providing supplies each month for the Pet Pantry as well as the Food Pantry, Grunn said there is always a need for more supplies. “We are taking all dry dog and cat food as well as collars and leashes, flea drops and animal beds.”

A few of the staple items for the Food Pantry each month are fresh fruits and vegetables as well as canned items and non-perishables.

For more information on items to provide for Feeding Families or for upcoming events, visit Feeding Families on Facebook.