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Labor of Love, which included businesses from St. Joseph and Elkhart counties, as well as “We the People” 912 and  the Michiana Tea Party Coalition distributed 80 bins and were among the first contributors to the new pantry.

More and more Elkhart County families are struggling on a daily basis to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. It isn’t just the unemployed either. Parents are working multiple jobs and skipping meals just so they can make sure their children are fed.  They have tough decisions to make every day: whether to fill up the car or put food on the table; whether to pay the utilities or put food on the table; whether to pay the rent or put food on the table. All it takes is one illness, one dead car battery or one rent hike and they can no longer take care of their family without help.

For those without family or friends nearby, Church Community Services provides hope , in the form of food and education and finanacial assistance to families going through hard times in Elkhart County.  When families are living in poverty, they have to do without a lot of things – food should not be one of them.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 was a huge day for Church Community Services.

It was the grand opening of Church Community Services’ long awaited renovated food pantry and warehouse.  Church Community Services has been working towards making this transition for 4 years.  The new building will give them the resources, space, and opportunity to better serve needs in our growing community.  It will allow them to store and distribute more food. It  will be cleaner and more welcoming, and will give space to be more volunteer- and client- friendly. They will also be able to put more focus on education, such as providing handy recipes and nutritional facts.

The new pantry is 1,225 sq. ft. compared to the former 494 sq. ft.  The new warehouse is 2,910 sq. ft. compared to the current 1,680 sq. ft.  There is also a 864 sq. ft. welcome center complete with a children’s area, and a prayer room for anyone who feels a need to pray. Lots of love and labor was put into this project, and IT SHOWS!

This nutrician video, full of advice on meal planning, preparation and nutrition runs 24/7 in the waiting room.

Amazing things happen when we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer. Church Community Service’s new pantry facility includes a chapel to assist client’s needs.

Here is part of the children’s play area where volunteers watch the children while their parents shop at the pantry.

The ‘Seed to Feed’ vegetables look so good! Fresh garden vegetables are ALWAYS so appreciated.

Mary Kneller, Food Director for Church Community Services, generously used up some of her very valuable time to show me the new facilities. It was a real pleasure.