Getting to Know You: The Pantry Gang

A column dedicated to the folks in the pews.

Written by Dale Buchanan

In the spotlight this week are the members of what this scribe affectionately calls the “Pantry Gang.”  Now it is true that “gang” has some bad connotations and may refer to an organized group of criminals, hoodlums or wrongdoers. Now our gang is organized, but here the resemblance to the above definition ends. This Pantry Gang is a group of people organized for a particular purpose. My investigative reporting has led me to believe that this definition is perfect.

Is this to suggest that some one individual dominates. Of course not!  Or that they are subject to mob rule? Definitely not! They are—every one of them—passionate about their cause. They speak, they listen, and the result is an operational plan that moves them as a cohesive gang toward the common goal.

Once the blueprint is complete and clear goals are established, this gang goes to work as one to accomplish that one purpose that unites them. They share a clear vision:  to feed the hungry. That is it. Everything they do is focused on providing nourishment for the malnourished.

Notice that they are “people from the pews,” which meets the criteria of this post. For certainly this gang comes from the pews. You will observe that this report will have no names because this gang has emerged from the pews and the social nature of their mission has melded their identity into one cohesive social unit. This systematic arrangement did not just happen willy-nilly. It is the direct result of gang activity. Once a month they meet and arrange the next operation. And mind you, it is a planning session. The amazing thing is the orderly, methodical way that these pew people proceed.

The Pantry Ministry is labor intensive. The planning is essential. The meetings are necessary. The growth has been phenomenal. From a closet in a back room providing primarily canned and dry goods to a very few to now providing meals to feed hundreds, the Pantry Gang at Big Red is literally heeding the words of Jesus when he said: “FEED MY SHEEP.”

Have you ever thought about joining a gang?  Now is your chance! Show up at the next gang meeting. Take part in the gang’s work. You will find the joy of belonging to the Pantry Gang a great experience.


Dale Buchanan is a member of FCCF with a passion for stories and writing. In between penning his own memoirs, he is helping us get to know our members, one pew at a time.

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