Double Dippers

When giving a tour of the Samaritan Community Center, the most frequently asked question is probably “How do you know that people who are receiving food are not taking advantage of the system?” I will be honest, THIS DRIVES ME CRAZY!

Don’t get me wrong. Practicing good stewardship with the generous gifts we have been given as an organization is something we take very seriously. We have safeguards in place to make sure that things don’t disappear. We have systems in place to monitor frequency of visits and encourage frequent visitors to visit with one of our social workers to identify ways in which they can become more independent. We have limits of once every 30 days for those visiting our Samaritan Markets (food pantries).

Each time I am asked this question, I take the opportunity to share those stewardship practices but follow it up with our belief that we are called to serve. Not called to judge. I share how Jesus fed the 5,000 and never once asked the disciples to judge who needed to be fed and who didn’t. He just fed the people so he could get down to business and share the Good News.

We kind of feel the same way here. We think food is one of the best tools for initially connecting people so we can begin to build relationships. And relationships are the key to accountability and ultimately positive life change which is what we are ALL about

I don’t foresee that people will ever stop asking this question of us. And the reality is that with time, I am getting less and less annoyed by the question and showing a little more grace when it occurs.

 

By Debbie Rambo, SCC Executive Director

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