ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – A newly renovated food pantry and soup kitchen is opening at the New Harvest Church.

Construction began at the beginning of the year, and the food pantry held its grand opening on Thursday.

Food pantry and soup kitchen manager Lisa Myrick knows, this labor of love didn’t happen by accident.

“I’m elated, like I can’t wait. I’m literally about to cry because this has been such a blessing. All the people who have been here to volunteer, the church family, the community has been amazing. I love that everybody’s coming together,” said Myrick.

The first truck from Feeding America dropped off nearly 5,000 pounds of food on Wednesday. There was so much food delivered, there wasn’t enough room in their refrigerators and freezers. The church ended up starting the food pantry one day early. In two and a half hours they were able to serve 30 families.

“One of our statements we use here at this church is ‘We come to worship, and we depart to serve.’ Our goal is to serve the community. We just praise the Lord for all the opportunity He’s given us,” said Senior Pastor John Cooper.

Assistant Pastor Feotis “Fe” Dean moved to the Escanaba area late last year, and has been a part of the renovation process.

“It’s been very busy around here, but it’s very rewarding also at the same time to be doing this kind of work for the community, and to be accepted in a community that I haven’t been in. It’s very, it’s very humbling,” said Dean.

Myrick said anybody is welcome to the soup kitchen and food pantry. You don’t have to be a member of the church. All that is required for the food pantry is to sign a paper.

“To serve as many as possible is really what our hopes are and getting people to come in for anything or any purposes. We’re a no-judgment zone church. Come as you are, be happy, and if you need something, we’re here for you,” said Myrick.

The soup kitchen is open every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The food pantry hours are Sundays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m and Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pastor Cooper said the next step for the church is opening up a homeless shelter. Below is a web exclusive of Cooper discussing this process:

For more information on New Harvest Church, you can click here.

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