Saturday morning, the . But even without a building, they’re still supporting families in need any way they can.
The church hosts a community food pantry every Wednesday, but because of the fire, they had to get creative. The first Wednesday after the fire, the food pantry was held in the parking lot.
The community food pantry serves multiple families a week, so the directors say shutting down was not an option.
“We have approximately 100 families that depend on us to give them food every week.” says Thelma Merritt, the co-director of the Cadillac Community Food Pantry. “We had one lady this morning who has eight children, so ten in the family, and if we weren’t here, she wouldn’t have groceries for the week.”
Merritt says they usually set up on Tuesdays, but because it is now outside, they have to start setting up at 7:30 a.m. the day of. Even though the plans changed, the volunteer crew was still there to help out.
“We have a good a good crew that volunteers every week and I couldn’t do it without them.” says Gary Merritt, the other co-director of the food panty.
The Merritt’s explain that the community has been very supportive. People have been reaching out to help, asking to donate food and money. Feeding America and The Salvation Army were also quick to lend a helping hand.
“When we first heard about the fire at the Revival Center, we knew that we wanted to do something to support them.” says Micah Chisholm, the social services coordinator of Cadillac’s Salvation Army. “It’s in the very mission of The Salvation Army to respond to tragedies. So that’s just part of our DNA.”
Thelma and her husband, Gary Merritt, say The Salvation Army and Feeding America both offered to store the leftover food as well. They explained the organizations will keep their food and bring it back to them every week until a long term storage plan is in place.
“Helping the community is why we exist. Bringing hope to people and alleviating their hardships as much as we can.” says Chisholm. “We want to come alongside them any way we can because that makes our whole community stronger.”
In the meantime, the community food pantry is accepting donations and money, for the future, to replace lost freezers and food.