Church partners with Ruby’s Pantry to help end hunger

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As the COVID-19 virus spread Thrive Church was not open for services. But Pastor Sheldon Miles noticed that there was a dramatic increase in people coming into the lobby just to ask for help.

At that time the church did have a food pantry, but they were looking to help the community in a bigger way.

“When the pandemic opened up, we saw the need really arise. And so, the idea was already there, but then when the pandemic arose, we just said, now we need to move,” Pastor Miles said.

Many suffered income loss due to COVID-19. This translated into a lot of people having to choose between paying for rent and bills or food. Ben Lee of United Way of Marathon County Hunger Coalition says they gave out 1.8 million pounds of food by July, which was the amount for all of 2019.

“I think if you drive by Thrive Church and see the line that will be there for Ruby’s Pantry, it highlights, you know we have been doing events like this all year. And no matter where the event is or what happens, there is a line,” Lee says

The fee for a share from the pop-up pantry is only $20. Pastor Miles says that is good for a full shopping cart of food.

Participants can register online or pay at the church. Thrive usually orders 300 shares to be distributed from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. or until supplies run out.

“We just want to be a blessing to our community. I think that’s what the church is supposed to be,” said Pastor Miles.

Ruby’s will be here on the fourth Saturday of every month. They currently serve 79 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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