Just Us Min­istries food pantry help­ing feed the hun­gry

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

Food pantries in and around Polk County are slowly whit­tling away hunger, and it has never been eas­ier for lo­cals to get the help they need.

Just Us Min­istries is one es­sen­tial stop for food, wa­ter, and over the counter medicine, and those in­ter­ested can visit on Tues­day from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. and Thurs­day from 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. at 904 Youngs Farm Rd., Cedar­town.

Guests must be 18 years or older and have a photo I.D, but those tak­ing home goods are in­vited to visit more than once per week. Every­one gets the same amount of prod­uct with each trip, but the avail­able items will some­times vary.

“Ev­ery­thing’s pre-pack­aged,” Just Us Min­istries CEO Allen Ray said. “You get (a bag of) food, wa­ter, and medicines. All of them are over the counter. Some­times we have peo­ple with spe­cial needs, so we also have stuff like adult di­a­pers.”

Avail­able foods can in­clude ev­ery­thing from non-per­ish­able canned items to chips and vegeta­bles, and frozen and re­frig­er­ated foods like milk and eggs are some­times avail­able too.

Since Just Us Min­istries pur­chases the prod- ucts them­selves, they can bet­ter se­lect items that are needed by the com­mu­nity, and pa­trons can rest easy know­ing the medicines and food are vet­ted for qual­ity and safety by the Just Us Min­istries vol­un­teers.

Guests should un­der­stand that only one house­hold mem­ber can take home goods with each visit, how­ever.

“We’re a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, we don’t get any gov­ern­ment funds,” Ray said. “We have a board of di­rec­tors and that’s where we get our money from. We’re af­fil­i­ated with the At­lanta Food Bank, and ev­ery­thing we do is up to their codes.”

The group even trans­ports the items them­selves us­ing self-funded ve­hi­cles, and a rentto-own ware­house next to the pantry stores even more food. Ev­ery­thing said and done, the group spends thou­sands on food each week, so there will al­ways be help for those who need it.

“We go a cou­ple times a week to At­lanta and dif­fer­ent agen­cies to get gro­ceries,” Ray said. “We pay for ev­ery­thing, and we take care of quite a few fam­i­lies ev­ery week.”

Just us Min­istries is cur­rently tak­ing vol­un­teers, and those in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing or find­ing out more in­for­ma­tion about the pantry can visit https://www.face­book.com/Just-UsMin­istries-Food-Bank-1564220847149591/ or call the of­fice at 678-901-1009 for more in­for­ma­tion. Po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants are warned that the po­si­tion is much more than a two-day job, how­ever.

What started as a mo­tor­cy­cle club has now been a food pantry for four years, and a larger, paved park­ing lot and a more hand­i­cap ac­ces­si­ble build­ing are just a few of the plans Ray has in mind for the fu­ture of Just Us Min­istries.

“This is our fourth year,” Ray said. “Just Us Min­istries started out as a mo­tor­cy­cle club. We did com­mu­nity ser­vice rides for can­cer pa­tients, then we started giv­ing gro­ceries away to fam­i­lies dur­ing Christ­mas. Then we got to look­ing around and we de­cided we would build a build­ing, and now we’re here.”

/ Sean Wil­liams

The Just Us Min­istries food pantry pro­vides pre-pack­aged food and wa­ter for lo­cal res­i­dents in need.

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