Handing out life preserving items are important, but think about what would help that person transition to a better place in life.
My recommendation is to provide free handouts once per person. Then require that in exchange for free food, each person must volunteer in the garden for an hour or more each week. Be generous with your portions to your volunteers.
Initiating a Food Voucher system might be helpful. Have each volunteer complete a Basic Information Document. (Note: Always ask people if they need help filling out the Basic Information Document. Chances are some people will not know how to read or write.)
Then set up a time for people to volunteer in the garden. Each week a person volunteers, they will receive a dated Food Voucher, which will allow them to receive free food.
Initially, this will require more work, but your church will reap the following benefits:
- Have the opportunity to form relationships with people in need from the community on a regular basis.
- Adequate time to get to know an individual's situation.
- Ample time to share Christ.
- Gather data about your community.
- Potentially extend greater help that will truly help individuals move to a better place in life.
- Steady flow of volunteers to maintain the garden.
Posted on Fri, February 28, 2014
by Donna Shiflett