News and Tribune


March 20, 2009

Gilt Edge Baptist Church's food pantry reopens in Jeffersonville

Giving back

Autra Baker sorted through donated food, placing it in bags for underprivileged families to later collect.

She was doing the Lord’s work.

“We love Jesus. We’re on a mission,” she said.

She was one of the volunteer workers of at Gilt Edge Baptist Church’s food pantry Thursday morning.

The pantry reopened this week after being closed for the last three.

During that time, the church was moving it from a location along East Spring Street back to the church along Green Street, so as to be closer to the community.

The Martin Luther King food store, as it is known, has been operating for the last 30 years. Although this year — as a shaky economy has become a full-blown recession — the need has grown, said Joe Horton, church administrator at Gilt Edge.

“We’re trying to give those experiencing difficult times some help,” Horton said. “We’re just trying to give them enough food to tide them over” because money purchased with food stamps often runs low during the middle of the month.

The church gets its supply from a food bank in Columbus.

Low-income residents from Jeffersonville fill out a form telling the church what they want and volunteers fill bags with the food they request.

“I’m retired now. I just want to give back to the community,” said Linda Horton, Joe Horton’s wife, also a volunteer and church member.

About 11 families signed up Wednesday to receive food bags Thursday, she said. Though she suspected that more families would likely just show up, rather than filling out the form.

They have to show proof that their income is low enough to get the assistance.

Volunteers from Haven House’s homeless shelter next door help carry the food bags out to vehicles. The acts count as community service hours for some, while others are just helping out because they want to, Linda Horton said.

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