Open Arms Food Pantry
Welcome to the on-line home of the Open Arms Food Pantry!
The Open Arms Food Pantry is a ministry of the Open Arms Community Center, led by Metamora Mennonite Church. Our purpose is simple, we serve the hungry of our community by offering food with no strings attached.
The Pantry is located at 1200 West Mount Vernon Street, Metamora, IL
The Metamora Food Pantry was started by the First Baptist Church of Metamora in the mid-1980’s. Under the leadership of pastor Don Machen, they ran the food pantry faithfully for over 2 decades. However, the church continued to face struggles due to declining membership. By 2006 it was becoming difficult for them to continue without support from others. In 2007, members of Metamora Mennonite Church began volunteering at the pantry. By the beginning of 2008 MMC volunteers, in partnership with Pastor Don, worked to keep the pantry running.
In December of 2008, the First Baptist Church of Metamora closed it’s doors. That triggered a host of unforeseen events. First, it meant that the property where the pantry was run would come under the control of the Metro Peoria Baptist Association. Depending on what they did with the property, the pantry was potentially without a home. Second, it meant that someone else would need to step into leadership of the Metamora Food Pantry.
Both the Metro Peoria Baptist Association and the members of Metamora Mennonite Church entered into a season of discernment about the future. The people of MMC felt strongly that God was calling us to take leadership of the pantry. However, we still had many decisions to make. Would be buy the current property from MPBA? Would we run the pantry out of our church facility? Would we run the pantry out of a third location?
In the Fall of 2009, MMC received a shocking phone call from one of the board members of the MPBA. He asked Pastor Michael what he would think if the MPBA gave the property to MMC for the purpose of ministry to the glory of God? Pastor Michael was speechless (which never happens). Through much prayer and discernment, the MPBA made the decision to sell the property that housed the Food Pantry to Metamora Mennonite Church for $1.00. The people of Metamora Mennonite accepted the generous offer and take possession of the property in January of 2009.
The Metamora Food Pantry is now called the Open Arms Food Pantry, a name chosen to reflect the purpose and values of the pantry.
The Open Arms Food Pantry is guided by 7 core values. They are;
- We believe God’s economy is an economy of abundance, not scarcity.
- As we share with others needs are met and people, families and communities are strengthened.
- The call of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit provide all the power and permission we need to love our neighbors by feeding the hungry.
- Faith, hope and love saturate everything we do.
- Grace, mercy and forgiveness fill in the space between our best efforts and best intentions.
- Anyone who wishes to feed the hungry is a welcome partner and friend.
- That said, we are followers of Jesus, without apology. That has a great impact on what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.
The Open Arms Food Pantry is open on Tuesday and Saturday each week, from 9 am to noon. During those times, we distribute food and free children’s clothing.
People can come to the pantry once every two weeks. There are no forms to fill out and we don’t require ID. We will ask for a name and the size of your family to help in our planning. You can view our distribution guidelines here.
Volunteer or Give
Click here for more information on various ways you can volunteer or give to the Open Arms Food Pantry