A new food pantry launched in Zion and its soft opening was celebrated at a special event on May 1 at DLB Ministries at 623 Kenosha Road.
The food pantry, which began its ministry several months ago, serves more than 25 families weekly.
It gained more support literally when pantry shelves, donated from Sue Gandhi of Sue’s Pantry in Vernon Hills, were installed at the Zion church, offering organization, structure and a sense of sharing in the Lake County community.
“It’s really coming together,” said the Rev. David Barrett of Waukegan, pastor of DLB Ministries, bout the pantry.
“This is our first time doing this type of event, and it won’t be our last time. We help people.”
After a morning church service, Barrett and volunteers welcomed anyone in need of items to come to the church’s Barrett Fellowship Hall. Tables were set for families and individuals to select items such as household goods, appliances and new shoes.
An estimated 50 households were served.
Also a perpetual offering, a clothing ministry is located in a room next to the food pantry with new and repurposed clothing. There is an additional separate room for baby items such as diapers and storage for gifts and toys.
Freezers are on hand to store perishable items such as hams, chickens, ducks and turkeys.
DLB’s Safe Haven has a motto, “Helping Mend and Restore Broken Lives.”
“This is what we do,” Barrett said that morning, adding the church was distributing, “household goods for people that need it, and people that just need a hand. You don’t have to be homeless, you just have to be a person that’s in need.
“Everybody uses dishwashing liquid, tissue paper, we got pots and pans, we got dishes, we got covers, we got soap, we got all sorts of things that’s just daily needs.
“The Lord just put it in our heart to do it and just open it up to the community. We’ll be able to bless people.”
Community partners such as utility companies and sponsors stepped up with consultations on how to apply for financial assistance or other resources. There were gift and gasoline cards, Barrett said.
Volunteers and helping hands were numerous on Saturday.
Nimonica Barrett, Barrett’s wife, said,
“I love doing, I love sharing, I love helping people, I love being a servant to serve other people that are less fortunate,” said Nimonica Barrett, the wife of the Rev. David Barrett.
Quinton Jones of Round Lake, a volunteer, said, “I think it’s really important to build community and when we really begin to engage with other people and meet their basic needs, I think that’s how we spread the message of Christ without being in the pulpit.”
Blake Jones, a volunteer also from Round Lake, said, “It takes a village. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’m volunteering because I want to help somebody or be a help, because if I was down, I would want somebody to help me.
“Everybody in our community should be like that,” Blake Jones said. “You should help your community survive, thrive.”
Angela Curtis of Hainesville, a volunteer, also collaborated with people to select items most suitable for their needs.
Recipients had the opportunity to choose bright colors from long rows of new shoes, or to simply select the best new mop or boxed appliance.
“I definitely think it’s important to give back,” Curtis said.
Volunteer Savon Hudson of Waukegan said, “I just think we all need to come together and help each other out.
“This is the most important time [during the pandemic] to be helpful to each other, just give a helping hand.”
To make a donation or to learn more, visit www.dlbsafehaven.com.