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How wonderful it is we have finally sprung ahead to a fuller day of sunshine. Hopefully, winter is well behind us!

Hope is a powerful act of something not seen or an optimistic attitude of an expectation or desire. Daily, I am witness to a renewing hope throughout our organization – from staff and volunteers to individuals receiving food securities. The stories are plenty and rewarding. Our dedicated and passionate volunteers and staff are beacons of hope to so many people within so many communities. Their beacon of hope inspires, encourages and renews – as the giver and graciously as the receiver.

The “ministry of Food Banking” also provides the sustenance of hope and gratitude. You may have heard the saying when you are grateful more comes to you to be grateful for – the expectation of good. This is so evident on my journeys of visiting pantries and agencies within our service areas.

On a cold, blustery and sleeting morning, I visited the Beacon of Hope Pantry in Mount Holly Upon my 8:30 a.m. arrival, there were already about 15 individuals waiting in line for the pantry opening at 9a.m. The first several individuals had been in line since 6a.m.

I proceeded inside to meet with Pastor Darlene and her wonderful group of staff and volunteers. She took me on a tour, including the building next door as a potential expansion to her ministry. As we came back around to the front of the building, the line of people grew to 30. Despite the sleet and wind, Pastor Darlene (in her charismatic tone) was able to gain full attention of the group and introduced me as the CEO from the Food Bank of South Jersey. I was not prepared for what happened next…they all CLAPPED! And one by one individuals yelled out “thank you,” “thank you” for what you do! Immediately, Pastor Darlene called for a prayer circle, all of us hand-in hand, in prayer as one unit experiencing the warmth of gratitude and hope.

Humbly, my hope was renewed that morning. We can be more and better together.

Thank you for all you do.

Have a super spring season!

Fred C. Wasiak
  President & CEO

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