Yadkin Christian Ministries has been serving families in need for 35 years. The organization sprang out of the Yadkin County Ministerial Association, which worked in a number of areas to minister to those in the county.
Yadkin Christian Ministries is a cooperative effort of churches, individuals and non-profit agencies with a mission of “sharing Christ’s love by providing daily necessities to the less fortunate in our community.”
Throughout the year, churches, school groups and individuals work to collect donations and funds for the organization. The annual Empty Bowls event is the group’s largest fundraiser of the year. Guests purchase tickets which include a handmade pottery bowl and a meal of soup, salad and dessert, prepared by volunteers and local restaurants.
The 2018 Empty Bowls event was one of the most successful to date with 600 tickets sold.
Mother’s Day weekend brought in even more needed donations for Yadkin Christian Ministries with the annual Stamp Out Hunger campaign. Collection bags were left in mailboxes of residents in Yadkinville, East Bend, Boonville and Hamptonville and postal workers put in extra work to bring those donations to Yadkin Christian Ministries.
Yadkin Christian Ministries volunteer Janet Robbins called the postal workers “real heroes” as they not only completed their regular deliveries on May 12, but then collected all of the food donations — a total of 8,762 pounds worth — and delivered it to the office in Yadkinville.
Robbins said this was double the amount of food collected in 2017.
Each week, trained volunteers gather at the Yadkinville and East Bend locations to minister to people in need. Food is provided, and assistance with utilities, medicine and many other necessities of life are made available. All assistance is paid directly to the provider. No cash is distributed to clients. Yadkin Christian Ministries is a place where people can find a caring ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a brother or sister to lean on in troublesome times.
Executive Director Cheryl Nehnevajsa cited research from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill that indicates the number of people in Yadkin County who struggle with having enough food to feed their families.
“Knowing that one out of four children live in food insecure homes, and that even with free and reduced meals available not all are eligible to participate is heartbreaking,” Nehnevajsa said.
“Research has shown food affects not only health, but development of the mind, thinking skills, energy levels — which all in turn affect learning. Only 78 percent participate in available school lunches, less than 50 percent in breakfast, and only 14 percent are receiving free summer meals (a large part of that is due to the availability of it being offered in the community where they live — people to host these meals are still badly needed),” she said.
“With summer coming on for kids in Yadkin we are encouraging folks to think about donating pop-top fruits, vegetables, cheese snacks, meal packs, fresh fruit, juice boxes (or juice foil-packs), shelf-stable milk and other healthy foods kids can manage on their own at home. Jelly for PB&J’s is also a treat we do not often receive (plastic containers, not glass is preferred). Toilet paper is also a very appreciated product by parents. Healthy is an important word in choosing food to donate as we now see three out of 10 dealing with obesity and one out of 10 dealing with diabetes in Yadkin County,” Nehnevasja added.
“Every prayer and donation helps as we stretch to assist our neighbors in feeling better and becoming stronger physically, mentally and spiritually,” she said.
Yadkin Christian Ministries also is in need of additional volunteers to sort food and serve clients. For more information, visit www.y-c-m.org or call 336-677-3080.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.