15:59 PM

Community Impact: Spirit of Joy Food Pantry

The Jackson EMC Foundation has supported Spirit of Joy Food Pantry for 15 years, providing grants to help the ministry serve the nutritional needs of the community.

“Our mission is to distribute food to those in need and to refer people to sources that provide things we don’t,” said Rev. Garen Dodson of Spirit of Joy Church. 

The food pantry in Flowery Branch is a member of and receives most of its food from Georgia Mountain Food Bank. Spirit of Joy distributes food on the second and third Saturdays at Cornerstone Assembly to Banks, Barrow, Hall and Jackson county residents. 

In February 2021, the food pantry received a $2,500 grant from the Jackson EMC Foundation to purchase food. 

“The Jackson EMC Foundation has enabled us to feed the hungry of our area,” Dodson said. “We’ve never had to turn anyone away and we are indeed grateful for that.”

Families may visit the food pantry once a month and are required to show a photo ID and proof of residency to receive food. Most families are referred to the food pantry by the Department of Family and Children Services, Gainesville Action Ministries, and other area food pantries, nonprofits and churches. Clients receive boxes filled with vegetables, pasta, soup and other staples. 

“We see that everybody gets some of everything,” Dodson said. “We also distribute frozen meat, something that many people lack now because it’s become so expensive.” 

For more information about the Spirit of Joy Food Pantry, email Rev. Garen Dodson at [email protected]