In the midst of the COVID-19 Crisis, one community need in the Wentzville area did not suffer much, thanks to the willing volunteerism of one lady who helped once… twice … and now more than 30 times!
Mrs. Pam Russina, Dardenne Prairie, aka “Grocery Angel” had been one of the providers of a hot meal at the Economy Inn, Wentzville, through the First Step Back Home (FSBH) homeless ministry as a part of her church group from Grace Community Chapel, St. Peters. When she heard that meals needed to be suspended due to health care concerns, she decided to form a new ministry and rally her friends to take bagged up grocery items to the parking lots of two motels where the homeless and economically disadvantaged stayed. She identified needy folks- those who had lost their jobs due to COVID-19, and clients of FSBH- and masked and gloved, the Grocery Angel brought them food two-three times each week, shared a little encouragement, prayed with some and thereby fed their bodies and souls. She’s been doing this since mid- March, and will continue until the FSBH evening meals program restarts, hopefully in early June. About 150 meals per week have been provided, or about 1,650 meals from mid- March through the end of May!
Pam put the word out through her social media contacts, and found many who were eager to help with her cause. Some contributed financially, so she could buy items according to menus she prepared. Others surprised her and just dropped off LOTS of grocery items at her doorstep. After the first month of her program she had collected more than $4,600, served 667 meals, and had about 200 volunteers shopping, prepping, delivering, donating and praying!
Weekly, Pam has been reporting on her “Wentzville Meals Ministry” Face Book Page, about her interactions with those she’s taken groceries to. She’s been able to help get many connected to job resources or other agencies who could help with long term solutions, provide incidental personal care items and just share God’s love with those who have been discouraged by their situations.