When I found myself very short of money during the summer, I decided it was time for me to start exploring other alternatives to buying food. This is an excellent avenue for purchasing the same quality food that I would normally purchase with significantly less cost. This organization is unique because of the increased emphasis in fellowship and good grounded values. I have not only benefited through having low-cost food, but also through the wonderfully friendly people I have met.
In 2007, I was forced off my job and lost my primary source of income. I never in a million years imagined this would happen. I was in shock. I applied for food stamps but only received benefits for one month. I swallowed my pride and visited my local food pantry. It was a degrading experience. A volunteer recognized me and inquired about what happened to my "big fancy job." I broke down and cried. That day and vowed I'd rather starve than return. Broken and facing foreclosure, I still needed food. A year earlier I founded New Community Counseling and Ministries, (NCCM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in order to provide sliding-scale Christian Counseling. Given my predicament, (hungry) I decided that now might be a good time to branch out and add a food program to the services already provided by New Community. I intentionally sought to design a program that would encourage and empower people who received assistance and that rewarded positive participation. I also sincerely wanted to help others: wards of the state, veterans, people with disabilities, single parents, seniors and people living below the poverty level. After seeing the cans and cans of potatoes and peaches that were sitting unused in the cabinets of people I assisted through NCCM, and, knowing how much I disliked canned food, I applied for food donations from Whole Foods and was thrilled to hear that our application was approved. I've personally grown through the experience of running a food bank and have learned some hard lessons. Today, Food Thing Network is a unique, empowering, low budget, sustainable, healthy food bank and is a viable alternative to traditional food banks. We provide healthy, mostly organic food for hundreds of people, once a week, throughout the year. We are ourselves a family of sorts. As the founder, I am proud and very pleased to read the words written here by those we serve.
I joined Food thing Network to complete some court appointed hours. The number of hours that I required were very small therefore most organizations refused to help me. Also considering my situation they were exterenly rude. Unlike other places I found the staff of this organization extremly helpful, understanding, and accomodating. They used my time wisely and judiciously; and not once brought up the court issue. Other than that I found that the whole system was very well organized and based on a lot of respect. It was priviledge to have worked with this organization. Since then I have recommended Food Thing Network to several of my friends to volunteer. I don't live in the same city anymore othervise I would have continued volunteering. Thank you very much for everything.
The help of New Community and Food Thing Network has been an incredible blessing to my family the past few months. With my husband being out of work most of this year we had exhausted all other financial resources and were about to wonder where our next week's food would come from. Thankfully, NCCM was there to supply an enormous box of food each week for a nominal fee. The food has been so abundant our fridge and freezer are filled to the brim. The volunteers have always been kind, friendly and helpful. Thanks to NCCM and Food Thing, we have a place to go when we are in a tight financial spot and know we never have to worry about putting food on the table for our family.
I came across NCCM a few years ago through Christine, the director. I knew her from Church and she started telling me about the ministry and its mission. I helped out here and there at firsy and I saw good things come from it. I got busy in my life and drifted away from it for a while. In November of 2009 I was laid off from my main job and found that as I returned to the ministry, the ministry was there for me. It helped to bring me to a better perspective of what the ministry does and and a new perspective on how effective it is. In my own life the NCCM was being a big help mand at the same time I saw the further long term effects of how it was helping others. I try to put my skills and talents to use for it as I am able and I now see the deeper impact it is having on myself and the others who are also blessed by it.
I found out about Food Thing Network through a homeschool friend and deceided to give it a try. I am makeing 1/2 of the money that I was making so now things are tight. I so much enjoyed the things that Christine was doing so I volunteered and am now a team leader. It feels good to give back. I wish that I could do this full time.
Para mi realmente ha sido una bendicion al haver conosido este programa de 'FOOD THING'. Hace una gran diferencia cuamdo esta uno pasando por problemas economicos. me encanta ser volunteer y ayudar en todo lo que puedo. Mi esposo tambien es volunteer es algo que hacemos juntos y nos devertimos y aparte nos ayuda anosotros tambien. Conosco mucha gente que le ayuda resivir la comida de gran calidad a un exelente precio. Gracias a todos los que hacen esto posible especialmete a Christine... Gracias :)
I really enjoy working with the groups of people that give there time to help others in need. Getting to know people joining together for a common goal of helping our niehbors not only puts food on the tables of those in need or down on there recources, but I truly believe it helps the rest of us open our hearts and minds to eachother, where we might not get an opertunity to realize what the really important things are in our own lives, and the lives of others from different walks of life that we work hand in hand with. I feel truly blessed to have the oppertunity to experience the impact of the Food Thing each week!
Es un gran placer poder ver a primer vista como los servicios de New Community Counseling and Ministries ayudan a mi comunidad . Es una organizacion que realmente hace una diferencia.
It's a great pleasure to see first had how New Community Counseling and Ministries help my community. It's an organization that really makes a difference.
It is so wonderful to see the results of the hard work all of the volunteers do for NCCM. People who might not qualify for other food programs or help are not turned away and are helped not just through the holidays but year round on a weekly basis. If there is a need, this organization will do whatever it takes to meet this need. Thank you to all the hard working volunteers and Christine for going above and beyond.......
We discovered FoodThing through a friend who knew Christine personally. From the first day Christine treated us like a close family friend and even offered to bring us food on days that we could not make it. Through volunteering and being assisted, we met some great people, friends and got to return the help to people like us who were in need. The FoodThing is a great organization with only the greatest of intentions, which is to help the local communities in any way they can. They helped us during our time of need and for that we will always be grateful. Thank you for everything that you do and everything that you have done for us.
I have been unemployed for over a year and having the wife as the sole person working has been tough on our over all budget. The food thing network has been a blessing to my family in this time of need. I don't think our budget would survive if it wasn't for the network
We found out about the "foodthing" when we most needed it. We were not getting enough income to buy food. When we heard about the food distributions of New Community Ministries, we decided to try it, and since then it has exceeded our expectations! Not only do we get some fresh organic fruits and veggies, dairy products, pre-made sandwiches, and other goodies from Whole Foods, along with more bread from Panera than we can eat, but also we get this all in a box for only $6. The same amount of food bought at a store would cost us many times more this number. If it were not for this ministry, we would be in a worse place right now. We are thankful for God's provision through Christine's hard work, as well as, through the many volunteers that help out each week. Thank you for helping us survive and stay healthy! We love you!
I got involved with New community Ministeries when i wanted to do some volunteering. I have found that the people that volunteer are very respectful of those people that need help a lot of the volunteers are also a part of the program which is great because to a lot of people just receiving handouts is a dehumanizing experience. The food bank has healthy food and they are willing to work with peoples dietary needs. They take time out to make sure that all the food provided in each box fits in with not only the dietary needs of a family but also their dietary wants. When so many programs are mainly about the quantity of food they give out it is refreshing to have a food distribution that is concerned about the quality of food they are giving out as well as the quantity. I have seen a lot of people that i know need help but they either are afraid to ask for it or they are afraid of the stigma that a lot of people see as being attached to needing help with food thing and new community counseling and ministries they are able to take a lot of the stigma away. They make all the people the receive their help feel like they are part of a family. Christine is constantly trying to find more ways to help the families that are part of the organization and encouraging new people to join the people being helped. Christine and the other volunteers always want to do more and help as many people as they possible can during the difficult financial times that we are facing. the people that they help are in all different situations and while a lot of the people that they help fall way under the poverty line they will not turn anyone away because they do not meet some specific requirement. Anyone that needs help can get help through the food bank.
When I met Christine, I found a woman who is passionate about helping the less fortunate in many respects but who also had a determination to help those who "fall through the cracks". Many people have temporary needs and don't meet the poverty levels required by local state-driven agencies. Christine found a way to find housing, funding and FRESH FOOD for those in need. It's a pleasure to volunteer for a small grass roots organization that's christian-based and not afraid to show it. Seeing the humbled familes come to receive love and donations so they can carry on their lives in this horrific economy. Christine makes opportunities available for volunteers in all aspects, making sure that each volunteer gets to focus on areas in which they are skilled, making best use of the resources. As a result, she has been able to provide a website for people to use to check on food distribution details as well as a place to offer donations (with capabilities of printing receipts at the time the donation is made online). Her passion encompasses a vast area of needs and as a result, has allowed many people who NEED the services and those who are willing to volunteer, follow in her footsteps because they are also passionate about her dreams to serve. Volunteers are not always clients, but clients are always volunteers. This is key in making a succesful organization and each client graciously offers to give back time after time. Fresh Food donations several times a week from Whole Foods and Panera Bread help families eat healthy and allows the ministry to target even those with dietary restrictions. My recommendation is that everyone give what they can to this organization so it may continue to grow and continue to help families in crisis, temporary or otherwise. Christine has a gift of giving and hopefully companies will sponsor The Food Thing Network and New Community Ministries on a regular basis. be blessed~
Food Thing provides a unique mixture of direct service and empowerment to community members in need. The recipients gain healthy food on a weekly basis through their own effort and energy of a volunteer commitment and a small monetary cost, earning and paying for the benefit rather than being handed something free as a "charity case." In addition, Food Thing's unique system of food collection and distribution means same or next day delivery of the food, ensuring freshness of the vegetables and other perishable items.
I first found out about Food Thing about 2 years ago when my family was going through an incredibly difficult time. My parents had just separated due to domestic abuse and my mom and my siblings and I were struggling to make it financially, as well as needing the encouragement and prayer support that Food Thing and New Community Ministries offered us. I can't tell you what a positive experience the individuals who lead and volunteer in this ministry have made this for us. Before becoming members of the Food Thing Co-op, we had tried out our county food pantry but the experience was so different - we felt dehumanized and like a number waiting to be processed. Additionally, the food was largely comprised of highly processed canned and boxed mixes, deserts and meats, all of which our family chose not to eat for health reasons. Our experience with New Community has been the absolute opposite! Each week when we arrive for pickup, we are treated with dignity and welcomed individually. The team members have made us feel like welcomed friends and the food has been fresh organic produce that we can feel good about putting on the table. Rather than feeling like we had no choices even about such a basic thing as what we would eat, we were able to continue to make dishes that we thought were healthy choices. This ministry is nurturing the wounded and helping them get back on their feet, not just passing out groceries. It truly is a hand up, not just a handout. I now volunteer with the ministry and feel that I am receiving a double blessing by being able to give back in a ministry that I know has such an impact on so many!
I knew Christine who is in charge of the New Community Ministries probably a year ago. Her dedication and love for the needed people made me be a volunteer in her great journal. She comes every Thursday to Calvary Church in Naperville to share the food God provides for the Women Spanish Encourage Group. The women are so grateful with God and their faith increase more when they can see a God that take care of them in their 3 areas: Spirit, Soul and Body.
IT is truly encouraging to see a vision come to pass. For so long I have desired to assist others in this area through a REAL program that touches the average person who is otherwise known as working middle class; who, have hit a snag along life's way and to connect them with an entity that would not only provide material goods but have a spiritual side as well. The Food Thing does both in an area where one would assume that people are fairly well off; the truth is everyone could use a hand up...not just a hand out. The Food Thing is so much more than just a food distribution center, it is a place where the local people can bond and take back their lives in various ways. I have seen this program in it's infancy stage where a humble garage serviced a neighborhood and continue to advance because of the founder's good will and her dream. Along with patience and God's Grace so many lives have been blessed. In the beginning there was so much fresh fruits and vegetables we had no way to store it. Now that the volunteer base has increased along with a more solid structure, we can see great achievements in reaching and serving more people.
I have not had a need for the resources offered by New Community Counseling and Ministries, but have seen first hand their work in providing food to the needy. I am a Divorce Care leader at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Il. I encounter on a weekly basis individuals that have needs due to divorce or separation. Many have to leave their homes and in some cases their families and live separate. These individuals experience hard ship in finding a place to live and in some cases need help to make ends meet. I have seen NCC&M providing food packages to these individuals on a weekly basis and know that their food program is well recieved.