Feed my sheep

One of the most rewarding things I do is to coordinate the Harvest Pantry at my church, St. John’s Presbyterian, 25 Lake St. in San Francisco. Coordinate is a good word because the project involves several hundred volunteers and more than 270 persons that we serve.

Walgreen's Randy Johnson presents a check to support Harvest Pantry as pastor Dr. John Anderson and students from UC-Davis look on.
Last Saturday was a good example of how each one of us has the capacity to glorify the Creator through the organized expression of unconditional love. My predecessor, Jackie Autry, devised a way to prevent long lines. Every three months, participants draw numbers through a lottery. The number gives them a guaranteed spot during a specific 15-minute window between 8 a.m. and 9:30. As a result, we get 50 people every 15 minutes.
Because last Saturday was the day that numbers are assigned, we had at least 50 more persons than normal. A number of different languages are spoken among the group, which made communication a challenge.
Fortunately, we had 30 students from the Junior ROTC program at George Washington High School working as volunteers, including students who spoke Chinese and Russian. They were able to not only distribute food but also maintain the lines and do some intake.
These are all details that we’ve learned through practice of distributing one million meals over the past decade.
St. John’s is hosting the meeting of the Presbytery of San Francisco Tuesday, a gathering of representatives from more than 80 churches in four counties.
Workshop on food ministries at Presbytery meeting April 13
We’re going share our experiences with Harvest Pantry, along with the insights of Rev. In Ho Kim, pastor of the English ministry at First United Presbyterian in San Francisco, which also does a pantry, for Presbytery attendees during a Pre-Presbytery workshop called “Feed My Sheep” at 2 p.m. at the church.
As needs for food assistance grow, and food resources tighten, it is important to maximize the volunteer and philanthropic resources we can bring to bear.