-START A FOOD grocery store
Aisles of produce, perishables, and non-perishable
goods at the Glory of Hope Food Co-op, which
promotes healthy foods.
Hope of Glory Ministries Community Food Co-op
Greenville, NC – Pitt County
There are dozens of hunger relief agencies across the state that provide immediate assistance to the hungry, but one food ministry is taking solving hunger a step further.
Hope of Glory Ministries Community Food Co-op provides healthy, local food, mentorship, and financial guidance to 26 families in Greenville that need assistance to get back on their feet. Families must apply to participate, and those accepted pay a monthly fee of $50 (for a family of four, $10 for each additional family member) and receive access to healthy produce and non-perishable foods each month. Hope of Glory estimates that families in the program save on average $185 each month on groceries (this total comes subtracting the $50 monthly fee from $235.00, which is the estimated value of food participating families receive). The money that is saved can go toward paying off a car, medical bill, loan, or put into a savings account.
Each family is required to participate in financial literacy education and mentorship to learn goal-setting and budgeting. After a family has been in the program a year, Hope of Glory evaluates their progress, and they can either continue with the program or “graduate”. Families can be enrolled in the program for up to three years.
Hope of Glory serves families who are struggling financially due to medical bills, credit card debt, loans, or other monthly payments. Their program is modeled off Birch Community Services’ Sustainable Families Program. Hope of Glory has incorporated their own spiritual guidance approach.
Hope of Glory Ministries has been serving Pitt County for years. They started with a free clothing and food distribution service for Greenville’s families in need and over the years have transformed Hope of Glory Ministries into a thrift store and food co-op. Hope of Glory chose to model their program after Birch Community Services’ Sustainable Families Program, tailoring the program to Pitt County’s demographics and needs. Hope of Glory uses a combination of donations and purchases to stock the food co-op with healthy produce and bakery items, frozen foods, and household supplies and non-perishables. Partnerships with Aldi’s, Food Lion, Publix, and local farms make it possible to have local, fresh foods at no or minimal cost to the co-op. Twice a month, on designated days, families are given a checklist of what they can get from the co-op and they come in to shop. Throughout the year, families are required to attend monthly classes, including financial management, and nutrition as well as volunteer for one hour with Hope of Glory Ministries.
Partnerships and existing models can help start and expand any co-op or thrift store program. Anybody curious to start or explore this idea should consider the existing models from Birch Community Services and Hope of Glory Ministries.
Check out their 2018 Ministry Highlight Quarterly Report.
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