Shepherd's Heart



Shepherds Heart Food Pantry - Who are we? Our Mission is to feed, clothe, empower, and advocate for families in need in our community, demonstrating to them the love of God. Our Vision is to find ways to become self-sustaining as a nonprofit so we can become a benefit to the community by providing services to families in need, beyond just providing emergency services. We collaborate with many nonprofits and service organizations throughout the community to provide channels through which we can all accomplish greater results by working together. We live in an area where the poverty rate is almost twice the national average. The next statistic may surprise you even more. One in four children in Texas (23.3%) under the age of 5 is Òfood insecureÓÑwhich is defined as not knowing where his or her next meal will come from. Texas has the second-highest food insecurity rate in the U.S. for all age groupsÉboth statistics that The ShepherdÕs Heart Food Pantry of Waco is working to change, on a daily basisÑone nutritious meal at a time. Our goal is to provide food and services to those in need. Our efforts are to feed the hungry now and find poverty ending solutions for those whom we assist. Shepherds Heart started with the pantry distribution operation in June, 2010. At that time the hunger needs of this area were greatly under served. Our goal was to bring resources together to create a more efficient method of using our collective resources, volunteers, money, and time to meet the needs of families dealing with hunger. Part of our plan was to find ways to create more pantries for additional food sources for this area. Today to our main pantry has grown to become the largest in Waco and the largest served by the Capital Area Food Bank, in the 22 counties they serve. We have created a small pantry structure that allows churches to have a pantry operation that meets the needs of families in their respective areas. There are 8 of these smaller pantries that operate under our umbrella. Last year through our main pantry we provided 39,448 family servings, 1.3 million lbs. of food, with an average of 40 lbs. per serving at less than $5.00 per family. Families are allowed to come to the pantry twice a month. We deliver groceries to 430 seniors who are homebound. Every Thursday at The ShepherdÕs Heart Pantry from 3:00pm to 6:00pm we have a distribution of canned goods, boxed and dry staple items, meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables assisting 500 to 700 families each week. For added convenience, a drive-through is available for those who cannot stand in line. The ShepherdÕs Heart has developed a creative way to fund daily operating expenses through the establishment of Things from the Heart resale store offering clothing and household items at discounted prices. The ShepherdÕs Heart is a 501(c)3 organization, and 100% of proceeds from sales at Things from the Heart will go directly toward purchasing food and daily operating expenses. Our organizational structure is: ¥ Shepherds Heart Pantry o The focus of the pantry is to feed the hungry and advocate for social justice. o The pantry has been serving 2,000 to 3,000 families each month. ¥ Things from the Heart Resale, 3400 Bosque Blvd. ¥ Things from the Heart Resale, 3332 Franklin Ave, opening in March o The focus of the two stores are to minister to those who need clothing or household items, then sell what is left to fund the pantry operations. o We assist local schools to provide clothing for students. o We assist in Operation Almost Home to provide permanent housing for the homeless. Where we provide whatever they need to help them get started in a new apartment. o Currently our sales from the stores are about 37% of our income. ¥ NoahÕs Heart, Empowerment group o We work with folks that seek help by helping them find ways to get a job or become fruitful as entrepreneurs. o Many that we assist have difficulty find jobs because they have felonies in their background or literacy issues. We try to get them to discover the gifts God has given to each of them to help them become self-employed and hopefully more productive than just getting another low paying job. ¥ Shepherds Heart Aquaponics Farm o It is currently under construction on a 5.8 acre site on the Texas State Technical College Campus. o We see the farm as an opportunity to provide fresh nutritious food to a community that has over 57,000 people living in food desert areas. o We see the opportunity to help the seniors we deliver to, 33% of them are diabetics. o Additionally, we will target opportunities to assist children feeding programs to get nutritious food to them. o We see the farm as an opportunity to make the farm operation and the pantry more self-sustaining by selling some of what we grow to provide income for our operations. o Our goal is to grow enough food for 2,000 people and give half of it away. ¥ Toys from the Heart o This year will be our third year to provide Christmas to ÒhomelessÕ children. o Waco ISD typically has 1,300 to 1,500 children who are officially homeless. o While there are other toy programs in the community this was an area of unmet need. o Last year we provided Christmas to 450 children. This year we expect to serve about 600 children. o We are able to accomplish this by getting churches, businesses and individuals involved in donating toys or other resources to contribute to the success of the program. A common theme throughout all our programs is that we do it with volunteers who do it to touch othersÕ lives with the love of God. The real measurement has to be viewed in Òdid we really help someoneÓ. While there is much work to what we do, it is a labor of love. Thank you for your support as we continue to find ways to assist hungry families and find poverty ending solutions. Robert Gager Executive Director Pro 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has don
4 People | 1 Impact | 2 Hours

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