For over ten years, Woodland Hills has partnered with Merrick Community Services to host a food shelf in our building. Then, in 2020, when Merrick had to shift resources away, Woodland staff jumped in to keep our shelf running.
We are so grateful for the partnership we’ve had with Merrick, and this summer we’re excited to announce that Woodland has now taken full ownership and operation of the food shelf!
Paula Bowlby, Associate Outreach Pastor, said, “It is an honor to help our community. We greet our clients by name, and celebrate their birthday weeks with special desserts. After a while, the people who first came with their heads hanging low greet us with a smile. The food shelf team is a talented group of individuals and we are thankful to be a part of the way God moves and works in the food delivery lines.”
The Woodland Hills food shelf has been named “The Corner Shelf” and on July 13, we celebrated its grand opening (check out the gallery below)! Woodland staff and volunteers greeted clients while handing out coffee, lemonade, Maplewood Bakery cookies and gift bags of cleaning supplies.
One client was so excited about the gift bag she said, “I was going to buy cleaning supplies today but now I can spend that money on food.” Food stamps do not cover cleaning or hygiene supplies, and this can be a big expense. Paula said, “The need is real, and choices have to be made. I am so happy we got to help make that choice a little easier.”
Over time The Corner Shelf is hoping to introduce some exciting changes, including: additional fresh produce, culturally specific foods and the ability for clients to choose which food they want to take home.
Paula explained, “We want our participants to use the food provided and we would like to provide as healthy as possible choices for them. Some of these changes are happening immediately while some will take a little time.”
One of God’s instructions to the Israelites was that they should not harvest all the way to the corners of their field. Instead, those edges were to be left behind for those in need of food. We hope The Corner Shelf can be one way to provide a corner for our own neighbors in need of food.
Thank you for all your support for this project! You can find more details about The Corner Shelf here.