NEW BRAUNFELS - Gloria Mata needed help. Medical bills from her daughter's illness stacked up, and the single mother realized she no longer had enough money to put food on the table for her family of six.
Deliverance came in the form of a voucher from her daughter's school that referred Mata to the Harvest Food Pantry, a ministry of New Braunfels Christian Ministries, which is funded in part through Texas Baptists' special Mother's Day Hunger Offering.
"When I came here, I didn't feel like I was receiving a hand-out. I found a shoulder to lean on," Mata said. "As a mother, it meant so much to me to look in a bag of groceries and see everything I needed to make a meal for my family."
Volunteers at the Harvest Food Pantry arrive early each Friday morning to pack bags of food for low-income families in New Braunfels. From dried beans and cereal to eggs and milk, the food prepared for these families is making a significant difference in individual lives.
"I want to intentionally give families food that will help them prepare meals," said Laurie Tieman, director of Harvest Food Pantry.
Tieman intentionally plans each week's bag of groceries with nutrition in mind. She works to ensure families receive fresh produce, meat, and dairy items, along with several dried and canned goods.
Opening four years ago as a ministry of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, the Harvest Food Pantry is run entirely by volunteers who give of their time during the week to share the love of Jesus by helping meet basic physical needs in their community. The ministry also partners with Communities in Schools, a local non-profit organization, who identifies children in schools that are in need of special assistance and refers them to the food pantry for help.
Harvest Food Pantry is one of 180 ministries across Texas and around the world supported by the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. This year, in honor of mom's just like Gloria, churches are holding a special offering on Mother's Day to support the offering.
By uniting the efforts of Texas Baptists, we can raise $1 million this Mother's Day to end hunger one mom at a time. So this May 11th, let's not simply pass the plate in church - let's fill it. Please consider holding a special offering in your church on Mother's Day for the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. Why? Because every mother's child needs a meal.