From painting at local outreach centers, cooking in the Share soup kitchen, or walking children to school on the Walking School Bus, the members of Vancouver First are involved in outreach throughout the community and the regional Washington area. We would love for you to join us in as many of these opportunities as you can. If you are interested or have questions about any of the activities that you see listed please contact Gary in the church office.
Share and VanFUMC working together to feed families in need!
The Mobile Share Pantry, a program through SHARE, partners with VanFUMC using our large van as a vessel for delivering fresh meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables to families in need in the Vancouver Public Schools system.
Every Friday morning, SHARE workers pick up our van, fill it with coolers and ice packs, and head to local food banks to fill those coolers with chicken, beef, cheese, milk, eggs, veggies and fruit. Once loaded with food, the driver heads to the first stop of the day, one of the area’s many elementary or middle schools with high free and reduced lunch rates. They are taking the fresh food right to those who need it the most.
At those schools, such as Washington Elementary or Discovery Middle School, other SHARE volunteers and members of each school’s Family Resource Center begin to set up a makeshift market and prepare the van to be boarded by shoppers. The shoppers are family members of students at the school who cue up in line and go through the Family Resource Center and its staff before grabbing shopping bags. Once on the van, the family members shop like you would at any grocery store. Some schools set up a fresh pantry in the parking lot, on the sidewalk, or even inside an area of the school. On some days, the schools put out sundries and other food collected from earlier in the week or month.
This program allows one-stop shopping for many items that large families in need just aren’t getting. The Mobile Share Pantry has been a boon for the local school district, and has added another dimension for solving hunger in the community.
Our church has been part of the Mobile Share Pantry since its inception. Now, the program has grown to an every Friday event, where the church van, full of fresh food, is met by SHARE staff at local schools. A mini market is assembled on the spot. After an hour, it’s all packed up and off to another school. The program continues to grow with more schools and families being added to the list. Eventually, SHARE will need more vans to keep up with the growing program.
In turn, SHARE will need volunteers on Fridays at the local schools to help pack and unpack the market and to assist the families with gathering, boxing, answering questions, translating when needed, and being a positive force for such a needed program. VanFUMC wants to be there with volunteers in this capacity to go along with our financial and physical commitment to the Mobile Share Program.
If you’re interested in volunteering your time on Fridays, please email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling SHARE and inquiring how you can help with the Mobile Share Program.