More Space = a Greater Ability to Help

 In General, Ministry Village, Tender Hearts Caring Hands

In last week’s blog, we learned about the need for a larger storage solution for the Tender Hearts Caring Hands (THCH) food pantry. Limited space in the Ministry Village at Olive office garage was restricting the amount and type of food THCH could store. This need for additional storage became even more urgent as the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted our community, tripling the number of food pantry clients Tender Hearts helped each month. Thanks to a generous community grant from Walmart in Destin, assisted by their store manager Steve Williams, Tender Hearts began renovating a large shipping container to create a climate-controlled storage unit.

Moving the container to the Ministry Village property was an undertaking of its own, requiring the coordination of a flat-bed trailer and moving company. The new site also needed to be prepped, with concrete footers poured and leveled. Once the container was in place at its new home, it was time to begin the renovation of the container itself. The hollow and rusted shell had a long way to go to become a safe and sanitary storage unit.

After a thorough cleaning, the inside of the container was framed out. Insulation and paneling were installed on the walls, and the entire interior — including the floor — was fully patched, repaired and painted. Electrical lines were run to the new storage area and added to the container. Air conditioning was installed to insure that the food items would be kept in a climate-controlled environment. And lighting – definitely a necessity in the long, dark, cavernous box – was mounted throughout the container on the ceiling. Each step of the renovation breathed new life into the Tender Hearts food pantry.

In addition to doubling the amount of storage space for Tender Hearts, the new storage space provided electrical outlets for the addition of refrigeration and freezer units to store cold foods – something the food pantry has not had the capacity for in the past. “We’ve dreamed of being able to provide families with turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we’ve never had the ability to store those kinds of perishable foods,” explained Kathleen Schuster, Director of Tender Hearts Caring Hands. “Now we will! It’s so exciting!”

Kathleen and everyone at Ministry Village would like to thank all of the volunteers and contractors who worked on making this project a success – especially throughout the COVID-19 limitations. Jerald Miller handled the electrical needs, and Mark King managed the construction portions of the project. Employees from the Ministry Village Bargain CenterJordan, Jacob, Charlie and Sailor – handled a variety of odd jobs surrounding the construction including sealing and patching the container’s roof; and Tom Cacciatore, Gary Bamonte, and Jim Duck were instrumental in providing labor and support throughout the project. Thank you for supporting Ministry Village in all the ways you do!

Ministry Village would also like to say a special thank you to the Destin Walmart store and store manager Steve Williams for their support in the entire grant process. Their tender hearts and caring hands are making a difference right here in our community, and Ministry Village is honored to work with such caring community partners.

🧡 The Tender Hearts Caring Hands Food Pantry accepts donations Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 2PM at the Ministry Village at Olive office (1716 E. Olive Road, behind Olive Baptist Church). Donations of nonperishable food items and travel-size hygiene are accepted. Financial donations are also appreciated and go toward purchasing the items THCH distributes each day. Supporters can also make purchases through Amazon and items can be shipped directly to the Ministry Village at Olive office.

⏰ The most up-to-date drive-thru hours are posted on the Ministry Village at Olive Facebook page. The Food Pantry drive thru is weather permitting. Hours vary by day and are subject to change. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work diligently to meet everyone’s needs while following CDC safety guidelines.

 🙏 To donate financially to Tender Hearts Caring Hands or any Ministry Village program, click here.

✝️ The mission of Ministry Village at Olive is to put the words of Jesus into action throughout our community – “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV) If you are looking for a place to demonstrate kindness to others for the glory of God, give us a call. We have opportunities through the Bargain Center; at our Tender Hearts Caring Hands benevolence program and food pantry; through the Most Excellent Way addiction support groups; at the Charis House; and at the Ministry Village Early Learning Center. Visit our volunteer page to signup, or call our office at (850) 473-4466.

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