A food pantry in Zavalla recently opened the doors of their new and bigger facility and they are ready to continue their work.
J.P. Hopkins started the pantry in 2003 while pastoring at Grace Gospel Church in Zavalla while there he says he made a covenant with god to feed the hungry.
“I made a covenant with God, I said ‘I feel like you want me to feed the hungry but if it’s your will, it’s your bill I’m not raising money, I’m not begging money’,” said Hopkins. “I felt like if i’m a child of a king, child of a muli-billionaire, I shouldn’t have to ask for anything. so in 13 years we’ve never had to ask for a dime, when we need food it’s always there, when we need equipment it’s always there, never had to ask for anything.”
And everything was going along smoothly until around 2011.
“We outgrew it about five years ago when we were running over each other,” said Hopkins. “I didn’t have room to store food I actually needed, I had to use Brookshire Brothers storage and coolers and freezers.”
Hopkins prayed earnestly for a larger facility over the past five years and his prayers were answered through something seemingly unfortunate.
The church next door to his previous building had closed and was up for sale, but just like in the past 13 years Hopkins did not have to pay a dime.
“They gave us the building, the land and the bank account,” said Hopkins. “We took the money they gave us plus several thousand more and added to it. We built this it’s a bout $65,000 completely paid for, don’t owe a dime on it, it’s all in the clear. That’s God.”
They use it to take care of up to 150 families in need by giving them each up to 50 pounds of food.
But Hopkins takes his business even further, for those who do not have a means of transportation he gladly delivers directly to them.
His reasons for working as hard as he does with the pantry allude to second chapter of The Book of James, to be doers of the Word.
“We try to put our words into actions too many people talk but they don’t do anything, we’re in the doing process,” said Hopkins.
His staff consists only of volunteers.
The pantry can be found on 162 Earl Miles rd and operates on the first and second Tuesdays of each month from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.