Mar 27, 2023 Member Spotlight- MP Naz
Pastors Jeff and Danielle Black came to McPherson in 2016 to begin their ministry at the MPNaz Church, located at 1455 N. Main. They focused their ministry on loving and helping the McPherson community find a healthy life with Jesus at the center. Building up outreach programs was important to Pastors Jeff and Danielle. And as a result, the outreach was a blessing box filled with canned goods put up to help deal with food insecurity in the community. She said it was constantly needing to be filled, so it definitely was something that was needed locally. It was decided to put up a second blessing box and it also was very active.
Tricia Warring knew of the passion that Pastors Jeff and Danielle had for outreach and food insecurity. About a year or so ago, Tricia proposed the idea to Pastor Danielle about a Community Fridge. Pastor Danielle says the conversation went like this … Tricia: “Hey I had an idea. It’s like the blessing box, but bigger.” Pastor Danielle (without any hesitation): “I’m game!” So over the last year or so, they went back and forth, talked, and came up with ideas and slowly the Fridge Project was created.
A lot of people have come together to make this project possible, Pastor Danielle shared. MCEID helped MPNaz get the grant written. Next was getting the construction completed of the building addition which would house the fridge and pantry and then the installation of the electrical part of the project. Shelving is going to be added to hold more food items. They’re also working on a patio area and landscaping. Garden boxes are being built in which they will grow needed fresh vegetables.
“One of the biggest differences between the blessing boxes and the Fridge Project,” Pastor Danielle says, “is we can fill full meals.” The blessing boxes are great but what they lack is milk, cheese, fruits, and veggies. With the Fridge Project she says, ”…we’ll have the opportunity to have meat in the freezer and fresh milk in the fridge. And then we’re going to have the garden boxes where we can grow fresh vegetables that we can put in.”
Opening the door to the Community Fridge and Pantry will be overwhelming for folks when they see all that is available. Questions like: What food items should I pick? I need to be sure to get everything to make a meal, but with the items available what can I make? Is this going to provide a complete, healthy meal for my family? Well, MPNaz has that covered. 10-15 really basic recipes will be available at the Fridge/Pantry which will use stocked food items. They are even looking at the possibility of having cooking classes to help folks learn to prepare meals with the foods being provided.
There are so many ways we, as a community, can help support this very important project. Donations of food to stock the fridge and the freezer, as well as keep the pantry stocked. Funds to help with electricity, insurance, and maintenance. And of course, time is always a great way to be supportive … donation of time to clean, keep the garden boxes thriving, and restocking the fridge and freezer.
By going to the McPherson Community Fridge Project Facebook page, you’ll find suggested items for stocking the fridge, as well as what kinds of things would be good to donate for the freezer. In addition to the canned goods and “shelf ready” food items needed on the pantry side, “everyday items” will also be needed. This includes items like laundry soap, personal products, bottles of water, socks, razors, and baby supplies.
The McPherson Community Fridge Project is a life changing outreach for our community and will impact a lot of families. Taking on a project like this takes a lot of energy, faith, and courage. Thank you MPNaz Church for taking on this very important community outreach project of helping to shrink food insecurity within our community. “You’re not afraid to try new things,” Chamber Executive Director Debbie Hawkinson said, “And I loved to see that you all worked together to make this happen. And it will continue to take a community.” For more information regarding the other ministries and special events that MPNaz Church provides, visit their website or go to the MPNaz Facebook page. Photos from the Chamber Ribbon Cutting for the McPherson Community Fridge Project sponsored by MPNaz can be found here.