Prairie Chapel UMC serves Urbana families with love and compassion
On the third Tuesday of every month, nearly 200 food insecure individuals line up outside of Prairie Chapel United Methodist Church in Urbana to receive food assistance. Distribution days are an important day in the community—they allow food insecure families to put a meal on the table.
Volunteers spend several hours the day before distribution organizing products and packing boxes with nonperishable goods. Cold and frozen items are added right before the food is given to each family. Each individual receives a box packed full of meat, produce, bread and nonperishable items based on family size.
Marie Rudolph, pantry manager, is compassionate about helping people get the food they need. She has been volunteering since 2004.
“We serve everyone. Families with kids, babies, seniors, single men and women…we serve anyone who needs to get food,” she shared.
The food pantry at Prairie Chapel UMC is run entirely by a group of dedicated volunteers. They show up to help, and at the end of the session, more than half of them take their own boxes of food home—including Marie.
“Volunteering at the pantry is their way of paying back for the food they get,” she shared.
Many of the volunteers are retired or out of work, and they need a little help to make ends meet each month.
Prairie Chapel UMC has housed a food pantry since 2000, but the pantry was originally started at Urbana UMC to help hungry families in the community get the food they needed for their families. The church picks up food from Ozarks Food Harvest every month.
Marie knows that the pantry makes a difference in the lives of those she helps serve.
“It’s very meaningful when people come up to say thanks,” she said.
The church is currently undergoing a massive construction project that will quadruple the size of the current food pantry. Marie hopes that in the future, she and her volunteer team might be able to serve families more than once a month.
We’re so grateful for Marie and her volunteers who serve the Urbana community every month! Learn more about the church.