The Pine River Area Food Shelf (PRAFS) has been a part of our community for 34 years. It grew from a shelf underneath the stairs at First Lutheran Church to a storefront location within the Pine River-Backus Family Center on Barclay Avenue. Last month alone, the food shelf had 184 families visit with 17 of them being first-time visitors. With a struggling economy and the lack of gainful employment, the number of clients is growing, many of them seniors and children.
Through this newspaper, we want to introduce you to various members of the Pine River-Backus Family Center's team of workers and the variety of our programming. You know where the building is on Barclay Avenue, but do you know what goes on in there? Karen Bresnahan is the "face" of the Pine River-Backus Family Center. She is the first person to welcome you to the family center. She is the friendly voice on the phone line. Bresnahan is the "Cat with many hats" here.
In the 20 years that the Pine River-Backus Family Center has been open, it has become the hub of community activity. The services and programs offered are tailored to meet our ever-changing social environment and the unique challenges identified in the Pine River and Backus communities. The evolving vision of the Pine River-Backus Family Center is that all families have what they need to reach their full potential and contribute to their community.
Mark 25: 37-40 "... Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? ... And the King will tell them, 'I assure you, when you did this for the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" It feels like Thanksgiving Day here at the Pine River Area Food Shelf. We are so thankful for the generous donations and compassionate support shown us during the March food shelf drive. It is impossible to adequately express the depth of our gratefulness that you do care about our mission to feed the hungry in our communities.
When the clock falls back, our snowbird volunteers fly south. These volunteers play a vital role in our ability to serve our community at the Pine River Area Food Shelf. They greet people, enter data in the computer, escort shoppers, stock shelves, weigh items and unload the truck once a month. As an agency, the Pine River Area (PRA) Food Shelf depends heavily on volunteers to fulfill our mission to feed the hungry. But who can fill their roles? The PRA Food Shelf has been blessed with the compassionate care these volunteers demonstrate.