My FISH Story
I live in a nice neighborhood. It’s quiet, the houses are well-kept and there are parks nearby where I can walk my dogs. Plus, I can drive to Ascension in fifteen minutes. How great is that?
But there is hunger in my neighborhood. I know because as member of a FISH Delivery team, I have taken groceries to homes some so close I could almost walk to them. Hunger? In my Neighborhood?
Many of you know of FISH (Food In Service to Humanity) from our yearly Peanut Butter Sunday Drive. You may also know of our large pantry on W. Scott Avenue. But did you know Ascension also operates its own pantry, just down the hall from the Sunday School rooms? We are part of a 25+ network of churches that help supply food to families and individuals in need of food assistance. Twice a month (the 3rd and 4th Thursdays) Ascension volunteers switch on a special phone number and take orders for food And we get requests for not only food, but other things like household and personal care supplies, especially diapers. Lots of requests for diapers. Imagine having to decide between buying food or diapers. Some of the stories people share with our compassionate phone volunteers would break your heart. Or humble you. Or both.
But this is not an unhappy ministry, but a joyful one. Some of the people we serve call regularly, so we know their voices. They tell us they’re glad to talk to us because they know we care and they won’t be judged-at least not by us. They’ll even ask if certain teams are working because they want to see them. I think I speak for all the Ascension FISH volunteers when I say we get far more out of serving in this unsung ministry than the people we serve.
Right now, Ascension FISH ministry badly needs delivery teams. The more teams we have, the more people we can serve. All you need is a reliable car, a working knowledge of Knoxville and willingness to serve. When you arrive at church, the food bags are packed and ready to go. The delivery slips are filled out, with directions. You choose 3 or 4 locations and after we load your car, you’re on your way. All you do is ask the recipient to sign their name on the form. It’s that simple. Won’t you join us?
They say the economy is improving. But the need for food assistance is growing too, at least here in Knoxville. Two days a month Ascension FISH tries to do something about this. A small difference, but a difference. You can be a part of that difference. Feel free to contact me at the e-mail address below. For you see, my brothers and sisters, there is hunger in my neighborhood. It’s in yours too.
Kerri Seaton/ Coordinator of FISH Volunteers