Faith & Grace Garden
What started as a little plot of land with a few plants to a food pantry garden. Volunteers sow, plant, fertilize, weed and harvest a garden each year that has produced as much as 16,000lbs. of food for local food pantries. Volunteers are from the church, the local community – including schools & neighbors – and Bhutanese neighbors that come through Lutheran Services in Iowa. Visit the Faith & Grace Garden website for more information.
The Freestore is an outreach of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church that provides household items and furniture free of charge to women who are referred by Iowa domestic violence services and to families in need from other social agencies for a nominal fee. It is entirely run by volunteers with no paid staff. Volunteers are always needed to pick up furniture, organize items in the warehouse, greet clients, help clients move furniture to their new locations, and raise funds. Visit the Freestore’s website for more information.
The Faith & Food Fund
As part of our Christmas letter, we encourage people to give to this fund. It’s a pool of money we use to help neighbors in immediate need of food. It can take the form of cash or something like a Hy-Vee gift card. Contact Deacon Jeanie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canned/Boxed Food Donations
We encourage our parishioners and guests to bring canned/boxed food each week for donation to local food pantries. At the time the offering is brought forward on Sundays, the children who participate in our Children’s Ark program will bring their own offerings of food forward. Suggestions for most needed items can be found on the bulletin board in the hall or at DMARC’s Most Needed Items page: https://www.dmarcunited.org/food/most-needed-items/
For years, St. Timothy’s has been involved with putting together Salvation Army Casseroles for use by the Salvation Army’s local mobile canteen. In addition, pasta casseroles are created by parish volunteers for distribution to local food pantries, the domestic violence shelter and Hope Ministries. For more information, contact the church office at email@example.com.
Joppa Meal Prep
Each month, young people gather to prepare and deliver meals for homeless people who Joppa serves. To learn more about Joppa, visit their website https://www.joppa.org/.
Another opportunity to feed our neighbors is through our friendly freezer. Parishioners can cook up soups, casseroles, or other one-pot meals to supplement those in immediate need of food. This could be run along-side the Faith & Food Fund as a supplementary program or stand-alone.
Restaurant/Grocery Store Partners
This is a ministry that has beginnings with FreeStore volunteers and has mushroomed into more. Volunteers will pick up leftovers from restaurants and pastries/bread from grocery stores and take them to local food pantries, shelters, and other places who have shown need. Some leftovers are repackaged and given to FreeStore clients for their first night in their new home. This is really a win-win-win-win for everyone involved.
This ministry began as part of our connection with the Youth Justice Initiative Study Table Program. In working with the kids and families connected to the program, a family was identified as “food insecure.” What manifested is our Backpack Ministry. Each week, a large backpack is filled with groceries. Many times, it comes with a number of other bags of groceries, including perishables and non-perishables. Church families rotate the responsibility of filling the backpack. The family receives the food from the backpack and it is returned for re-filling the following week. You can learn more about the Youth Justice Initiative at http://www.wdm.iowa.gov/government/police/community-programs/youth-justice-initiative.
First Sunday Breakfast Cooks
Each 1st Sunday of the month, the men of St. Timothy’s (or at least a lot of them!) will cook a breakfast for the parish to enjoy. The free-will offering gathered at the breakfast supports our Second Offering partners each month (see below), who come in and give us a brief talk on how their ministry works and how our help is both crucial and appreciated. If you’d like to join us in the kitchen, we’d love to have you!
Each month, our Second Offering benefits groups we have built relationships with and who value the dignity of every human being. Baggies in our bulletins each week help with the financial support of those groups. What we’ve found is that by tying all of these pieces together, we are seeing a marked increase in our outreach monies AND engagement with ministries that were previously known to only small groups of parishioners. You can donate to our designated beneficiary each month here.
Churches Outreach Group (COG)
St. Timothy’s works with COG to help individuals and families in need in West Des Moines and the western suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa. This group also works with the West Des Moines Human Services Department to identify and address community needs.