Two local ministries have partnered up to create a 10,000 square foot food warehouse and are giving their all to end food insecurity and hunger in Henderson County.
Faith at Work Ministries and Feed the Hungry have joined forces to host an event from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9 at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Mabank.
Faith at Work Ministry will be handing out food to those in need, and Feed the Hungry will be providing resources for other needs they may have. Both ministries have a huge heart for the community and have the backing of the City of Mabank, who suggested the two join forces for a shared vision.
Faith at Work
It isn’t every day an individual is strong enough to take a devastating loss and turn it into a ministry. Pastor Ken and Donna Davis have done this while creating a beautiful tribute to Donna’s young daughter Faith Marie who tragically passed away in 2012. Together the couple has created Faith at Work Ministries and distribute the word of God and approximately 45,000 pounds of food in Faith’s memory weekly.
“God knew I needed meaningful work with purpose to survive the loss of my daughter, Donna said. “It is the work the Lord has given us to do. This is truly a beauty from ashes testimony, all glory goes to God."
Families arrive at the Mabank Pavillion at 10 a.m. each Sunday for a Speak Life church service, but the cars start lining up much earlier for the 11:45 a.m. food distribution. Church attendance is not required to get food. The couple spends all day distributing fresh healthy food to around 150 cars, some holding multiple families. The volunteers set up the church and drive thru every week and the process is organized to flow smoothly.
“We want everyone to feel seen and heard,” Ken said. “My brother and I grew up with our dad and Memaw, she always had food. Home is where you are fed spiritually and physically, we want to provide that sense of home and belonging. On your first visit we ring a bell to welcome you to the family. We tell them, now that you’re here, you are family. You have to come back, because we will miss you if you aren’t here.”
Families are not rushed through and each one is given the time they need. The pastor spends time with each one, getting to know them, offering prayer and ministering to any needs.
Ironically the idea for a food pantry started in a car.
“In 2017, I was driving and the Lord spoke to my heart, ‘Do you love me?’ And I said Yes, He said ‘then feed my sheep,'” Ken said.
After returning home the couple discussed it and started a food pantry with their church. It started off small, in a closet and fed one family. The next week they upgraded to a laundry room and fed three families, and the ministry has steadily grown from there. They now operate out of a temporary warehouse. They also visit neighborhoods and distribute food routinely.
None of the volunteers are on a salary and all have a desire to serve the Lord. The couple wants to thank those volunteers who help faithfully.
Feed the Hungry and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Another prominent advocate for the hungry, Guy New, owner of Dickey’s Barbecue in Mabank and Rowlett also had a desire for a food warehouse. After the 2015 Rowlett tornado, New offered free food to local victims and first responders.
“People were hungry, so I posted anyone hungry can come eat at Dickey’s,” he said.
Dickey’s corporate office sent assistance and the event was a starting point for the New’s Feed the Hungry program. He assists an average of 40 families at each event.
“Deeper needs were seen and we try to identify that. We help them now, but also try to help them with plans to prevent this from reoccurring.”
New frequently holds Classic Car Cruise In’s and Feed the Hungry fundraising events to provide resources and free meals to those in need including veterans.
“My employees enjoy helping people, and some are on the FTH board of directors,” New said. “Our mission is to help people.”
The next Feed the Hungry Event will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Mabank. This time the two groups are joining together for a unique experience.
“If you are hungry in the Cedar Creek Lake area, please come eat for FREE. No questions asked. Optionally meet local Counselors, Churches, Clothing Banks, Food Banks or Shelters to get other assistance! If you need food, clothing, counseling, or assistance we will have someone for you to speak with.”
Feed The Hungry Corporation is partnering with Dickey's Barbecue Pit – Mabank, Faith at Work Ministries, Dickey's Barbecue Pit Rowlett and The Catering Guy LLC to build the new facility in Mabank.
Together they hope to build the Food Warehouse not only for the local community but as a resource for other area food pantries as well.
“The largest expenses for food pantries are fuel, truck maintenance and time,” Ken said. “When this warehouse is done, we will have a local hub of free food. It is around a $650,000 endeavor. We are in the beginning phases of fundraising.”
The group is also looking for Volunteers, Counselors, Churches, Clothing Banks, Food Banks, and Shelters, to offer assistance or be on call.
“Just come in Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Mabank and tell my staff you are in need,” New said.
Both ministries have Facebook pages for more information.
Feed the Hungry Dickey's Barbecue Pit Mabank and @faithatworkministries