By Peter Kamajian
The First Church of the Nazarene in Montpelier is Blackford County’s de facto alternate for tailgates when a location is urgently needed. If the Hartford City fairgrounds is unavailable, the church parking lot fills with volunteers and parishioners ready to lend helping hands—and hearts.
Joyce G., a leader among volunteers, explained to me that she used to participate at a food distribution that was hurting for helpers—she made a few calls, and brought a cadre of friendly volunteers to the rescue! Since then, Joyce has been giving time, organizing, and spreading the word where help is needed most. We love hearing about volunteer networking bringing more support to events, and Joyce is a great example of how strength in numbers impacts food distribution.
As an organizer, Joyce told me that year after year they see more and more families lining up for food. This upsurge of families demonstrates a rising need for community support, and it’s wonderful to know that Montpelier has a strong host of supporters ready to give their all toward bringing that number down.
Another volunteer explained that she came from an area where food charity was an alien concept; it blew her mind when she moved to Indiana and discovered tailgates and food banks. When talking about rising necessity, this is a reminder that some patches of America have yet to accept the need for nutritional support. Lawmakers and potential benefactors sometimes lack perspective on food insecurity, and when enough people spread the word, we hope to bring insight to those areas that might really be hurting for nutritional aid.
Fortunately, the First Church of the Nazarene is not wanting for such insight. Pastor Jesse explained the transformative impact this kind of charitable event has on the church: he’s been able to make meaningful connections with folks in line, and many have opened up to him about very personal matters.
In a world where gaps exist in the fabric of food security—whether it be lack of access to support, indifferent lawmakers, or otherwise—it’s quite uplifting to see a community filling in where it’s needed. Often, the best way to patch these kinds of gaps is with a group of good-hearted people banding together, raising awareness, and helping where they can. The folks at the First Church of the Nazarene in Montpelier are a great example of what this kind of caring community looks like, and the neighborhood gives back by bolstering church numbers and fostering meaningful connections.