By: Stephanie Gottfried, Mid-America Union Conference Outlook, and Adventist Review, courtesy Adventist Review
The year 2021 marks 10 years since the ReNewed Hope Food Pantry first began in a small closet at the New Haven Seventh-day Adventist Church in Overland Park, Kansas, United States.
Volunteers recently gathered at the Eagles Landing for dinner and praise music to mark this milestone. They praised God for bringing food and volunteers to serve the community over these many years.
In the first months, the pantry served about five families a week, Faye Martin recalls. Martin founded the pantry along with local pastor Chanda Nunes in January 2011. The pantry has grown a lot since then, she said, and this past year has been especially pivotal. “I believe God put it in our hearts to start the pantry so many years ago because He knew it would grow and be able to help people during this pandemic,” Martin explained.
The ReNewed Hope Food Pantry started in a closet in the church library, but in 2013, it moved into the adult hallway and classrooms. In early 2015, the New Haven church began operating a specialty food pantry with gluten-free items in addition to the traditional pantry. After two years, the church merged the gluten-free and traditional food pantries into one.