LIBERTY — In Proverbs 22 verse 9, the writer writes, “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed for he shares his bread with the poor.”

Several area churches and other nonprofits are seeing a larger demand for bread for the poor during the COVID-19 pandemic. One such church is Journey Church, located at 1021 Brown St. in Liberty.

Outreach Coordinator Felecia Athey said leadership partnered with Harvesters to offer a drive-thru pantry the third Saturday of the month. The first pantry will be Saturday, Sept. 19. The pantry begins at 7:15 a.m. and runs until the bags of food and household items have been distributed, she said. Bags will be placed in trunks or empty back passenger seats to limit contact. 

“To add to this pantry experience, we are partnering with Shoes From the Heart in September," said the outreach coordinator. "They provide free tennis shoes to adults and children in need. They normally have participated in many back-to-school fairs that they attend at this time of year, but many of those aren't happening, so we are happy to partner with them to offer yet another resource for families."

Shoes From the Heart is headquartered in Macon, Missouri.

“They are coming up with creative ways to support the community,” she said. “As people come through on Saturday, we will ask them about the people in the household who may need some shoes. They are preordered in September and picked up in October.”

Athey said they are quality shoes, but don’t have a name brand to them.

“We have a church member who works at Harvesters,” she explained. “Church members have volunteered at the facility on a quarterly basis, but as our church has grown and we have added new space, we can offer a more substantial food pantry. We are utilizing that extra space as well as the extra parking space, too.”

Along with food items from Harvesters and shoes, the church congregation has been holding various drives to collect household items such as cleaning supplies and paper towels. 

Athey said the first drive-thru will be part of a learning process. Each month 20 to 25 volunteers will serve. In the near future, the pantry will also include a pet food pantry from the Great Plains SPCA with cat and dog good available.

“We all want to see this grow,” she said. “Right now, we are going to ask for a name and household sizes as far as requirements go, including whether they are helping a senior family member too and shoe sizes if needed. Right now, we expect people to come from anywhere, not just Liberty.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.