"Virginia is for lovers," and the World Outreach Worship Center (WOW) of Newport News, Va., proves it's also a state for loving and caring for others.
The pantry currently serves more than 600 children, families and seniors who are at risk of hunger in the community. But with rising needs in the area and limited funding, the WOW Center needed help from volunteers to renovate and restock its pantry.
On Monday, September 26, Food Lion joined the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to donate much-needed items and restore the current facility at the WOW Center, as part of the grocer's Great Pantry Makeover.
"Our volunteers are thrilled to be here today," said Wanda Marshburn, director of operations at Food Lion. "This pantry is dedicated to serving our community, and we are dedicated to making sure they can continue this mission."
In just three hours, Food Lion volunteers removed and replaced old ceiling tiles and insulation, cleaned the ceiling and floors, assembled new shelving and donated more than 10,000 meals to the pantry.
The WOW Center was nominated by the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to receive the makeover. Before the renovations, the pantry used a former classroom in its building to serve its clients and struggled to meet the demand as they had limited storage space and supplies.
Now, the WOW Center has a renovated, clean space, brand new shelves, new paint and more meals to serve those struggling with hunger in the community.
"This makeover could not have come at a better time," said Greg Davidson, children's ministry pastor at the WOW Center. "We are currently serving meals three days per week, and this is the next step in expanding our service to five days each week."
The WOW Center's makeover is part of Food Lion's month-long service project, The Great Pantry Makeover. Throughout the month of September, Hunger Action Month, the grocer will renovate and restock more than 30 food pantries in 30 days to help close the gap on hunger and raise hunger awareness.