Illuminating SSPM Diaper Mission

It’s not just their bright smiles and their effervescent enthusiasm.  It’s the fact that they radiate goodwill. This summer special groups of donors and volunteers have made SSPM’s diaper distribution possible. July’s edition of “Inside the Pantry” focuses on diapers.  Yes, diapers!

In January of 2019, SSPM began a partnership with the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks. This partnership allotted 5000 diapers for SSPM’s distribution. SSPM’s plan to make the first Tuesday of each month “diaper day” was a huge success.  So successful, that it was evident that our supply would be depleted quickly. So Ashley Rogers, our Diaper chairperson, proactively worked with Aaron Dick, a SSPM board member, to seek a diaper source. This resulted in a gift of two pallets of diapers and one of wipes from First Quality Consumer Products. 

So how do you handle the gift of three full pallets delivered unannounced to the inside entrance area of Christ the King? First, and repeatedly, you tell Christ the King secretary, Vicky, how much you appreciate her accepting the delivery! Then you look for help to move the three pallet gift.  Answering that HELP call was a group of four consisting of two moms and their two strong teens who are members of the Young Men's Service League. They enthusiastically took on the huge task of unloading and hauling all the cases of diapers and wipes up two flights of stairs to SSPM’s storage room at Christ the King.

The next step was to prepare the diapers for distribution. Under the leadership of Ashley, a few JustServe moms and kids repackaged, bundled, and labeled the diapers into bundles of fifty.  Then on July 2, parents in need came to Second Street Pantry to pick up diapers for their infants and toddlers.

So that’s the behind the scenes account of July’s diaper distribution. Illuminating, right?!

Sweet, Sweet Spirits

There's no better way to describe the multi-generational dessert bakers than "sweet, sweet spirits". One grandmother, one mom, and two eleven year old friends have made a covenant to provide home made Tuesday Night Dinner desserts once a month throughout the summer. They actually got an earlier start by baking brownies in April.
In May, this sweet team prepared shortcake and served it with fresh strawberries. Yummy!  
This picture features their dessert as well as the two eleven year old friends, Lily and Cambri, Lily’s mom Kristen, and her grandmother Gloria. Not baking in May but joining the multi-generational team is Cambri’s grandmother, Carol, who manned the ticket box that Tuesday Night.  Word is that this multi-generational team is planning a blueberry sweet for June. 
Inspired?  Summer’s a great time to volunteer with your kids and grandkids!  Get involved on Monday mornings when groceries are unloaded, Tuesday Pantry, or Tuesday Night Dinner (that’s what the Young Men's Service League and their moms are doing). It’s also what older students, who sign up through JustServe, have done. Thank you "sweet, sweet spirits" for  volunteering your time and talents through Second Street Pantry Missions.

May flowers can be likened to whispers of Christ. They are abundant; all you have to do is look for them.

Inside the pantry, one can feel and witness the whispers of Christ. Examples are abundant...if you look for them.  Whispers are exemplified in smiles, words of greeting, and conversations between and among guests and volunteers. Beginning with early morning greeters and throughout the day, volunteers welcome pantry guests and also gift them with sacks of groceries provided by all who support the pantry.  Whispers of Christ flower throughout the mission of Second Street Pantry. 

Today’s insider story focuses on a special teenage volunteer who regularly volunteers in the pantry by helping to hand out sacks of groceries.  Jayci is a special whisperer of Christ to pantry guests who are without homes.  She ministers to our homeless guests in a very special way. She makes each one a personalized sack containing foods and care goods that she’s aware they need or would like to have. Jayci, by her actions, is whispering Christ to our homeless guests.  Whispering that they are loved...Whispering that they are special.

Easter April 2019. What better time would there be to inform you of SSPM food re-purposing endeavors?

As you may know, Tuesday Night Dinners are provided free of charge to our pantry clients, and the meals are planned by our kitchen guru, Lisa Stell, and her team of kitchen wizards.  To offer a wholesome dining experience, Lisa procurers the majority of the food from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Food Bank (NWARFB), Seeds that Feed, and Cobblestone Foods. In the warm months, the fresh produce makes a huge, healthy impact on meal planning and outcome. This winter, re-purposing became even broader as Seeds that Feed picked up rescued restaurant foods and delivered them to SSPM where they became a tasty enhancement to meals (think soups, soup bases and vegetable bases).

Taking the re-purposing one step further, Lisa, working with SSPM volunteer Amber Harris, is now using a tote instead of a garbage bag to dispose of the Tuesday Night Dinner wastes. Vegetable, fruit and other food wastes are now "toted away" by Amber for her chickens. Those specially bred chickens produce large, beautifully colored eggs. Please see the photo of the kinds of eggs Amber’s chickens produce. In exchange for what Lisa would otherwise throw away, she now receives a couple of dozen eggs each week from those special fed chickens!

Re-purposing foods...NWARFB...Seeds that Feed... chicken and eggs...creative people....resurrecting foods!