Sometimes getting by gets just out of reach

Published 8:27 am Monday, January 19, 2015

Then He took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. (Luke 9:16. KJV)

Every other Wednesday an all-volunteer army in the war on hunger follows the example of Jesus Christ by distributing food to the needy of the Crossroads community.

Volunteer and board member Sharon Bonnecarrere has been involved with the food pantry since 2007.

According to Bonnecarrere, “My eyes have really been opened to the needs of people in our community. I never realized that the price of gasoline, for instance, could have such a devastating impact on families. The people who come in the food pantry don’t complain, but over a period of time I have come to understand their financial situations. When fuel prices were up many didn’t have enough money to fill up their gas tanks to drive to work.

“The majority of people we serve are not on state aid. They are working people who are doing their best to support their families with the best job they could find,” she continued. “Many of our clients are elderly and living on Social Security. When an elderly person has to decide between purchasing their medication and buying food that’s where we come in. When the cupboards and freezer get low we pray and the Lord always comes through.

“My husband, Bruce, was actually instrumental in my decision to volunteer at the food pantry. He was very involved, but I was busy caring for my mother and didn’t have much time. Now I work alongside Bruce, and it is a real blessing for us. Even though it is very humbling to have to ask for donations, the rewards far outweigh any challenges we face,” said Bonnecarrere.

The volunteers at Crossroads Distribution Center share a special bond and look forward to serving the community together. It’s definitely not all work and no play — this bunch knows how to have a good time. Laughter and good-natured horsing around makes their work enjoyable. They open with prayer each time they meet and have Christian literature available for anyone interested. The distribution center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is fully funded by donations. Byrd’s and Wesley Chapels are regular contributors as are several area businesses.

Larry Pickering, pastor at Byrd’s Chapel, is a familiar face at the center.

Pickering said, “I feel like missions have gone over yonder. I’m not downplaying the needs around the globe, but we need to take care of people on our own back door. At Byrd’s Chapel and here at the center we provide for the physical and spiritual needs of people around us.”

Pickering continued, “God really uses this place. A lady came in one day in terrible shape. She was absolutely distraught. After the untimely death of her husband she was emotionally unable to work. This led to the loss of her good paying job. We counseled her and invited her to Byrd’s Chapel. The people there welcomed her and showered her with such love and acceptance that she is now back on her feet and doing well. She went back to school, volunteers at church and is actively looking for another good job.”

Crossroads Distribution Center is located at 176 Old Crossroads West, Poplarville, Miss. For more information call 601-799-3045 or 601-985-8883. Donations and volunteers are welcome and appreciated.