Share Your Christmas helps local church feed hungry families
A special mission is underway at St. Thaddaeus Episcopal Church where volunteers gather each week to put together bags of food for people in need.
Single mom Michelle Morgan knows what it’s like to be hungry, scared and alone.
"I've been an addict for most of my life. I didn't raise my children,” said Morgan.
She was pregnant and living in a van when she saw a sign for the church’s food pantry.
“I started coming on Saturdays and getting food and making friends because they were so nice to me. They never judged me and that was crucial at that time,” said Morgan.
The volunteers welcomed Morgan and made sure she had enough food to eat each week. "It begins with a person's basic needs and if those basic needs are met it's a lot easier to begin to work on yourself,” said Morgan.
The food pantry opened its doors more than a year ago and as many as ten volunteers commit to coming in each Saturday to help feed anyone who is hungry, no questions asked.
"What we discovered is they are folks just like us that are struggling to get by that have lost a job that have catastrophic healthcare bills and literally we have folks that tell us week after week the only food that they get is from our food pantry,” said Brother Christian Thompson.
The church is able to stock the shelves with food from the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
“You don't really realize exactly how many people in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas are struggling for food every day, every week,” said Josh Stone who works in the Chattanooga Area Food Bank’s warehouse and delivers food.
"I like to help out. I love helping out people so it was natural for me to want to work with the food bank,” said Stone.
Once lonely, Morgan says she now feels loved and can put food on the table for her family.
“It is great to know that I have friends and that I belong somewhere and I’m in their minds and their hearts. I mean, you can make all of the money in the world or you can have all of the fine things but to have genuine love and care from someone else is priceless,” said Morgan.