BOONES MILL – In its first 17 days, His Cupboard has helped more than 700 families in need in the Franklin County and Roanoke areas.
"We turn no one away," said director of His Cupboard Denise Stott. She and her husband, Will, were living on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico when she said they felt a calling from God to move. One thing led to another, and that calling moved them to a small town they had never heard of, Boones Mill, Virginia.
Through the help of Boones Mill churches and community donations, the Stotts have organized the clothing and food pantry in a building located behind the Boones Mill train depot. It's space that is lent to the organization rent-free by the town. There, those in need- need only ask.
"His Cupboard is standing in the gap with food clothing and the word of God. And that's what we are doing. We are helping families that are just falling in between the cracks," Denise Stott said.
Faye Meador, of Wirtz, is a member of one of those families.
"I don't know if I could make it without them being there. It's really hard sometimes," Meador said.
Most can relate to her plight.
Although she's retired, she is now responsible for raising her five grandchildren.
On a fixed income, it's a tight stretch. She said she doesn't qualify for financial assistance. She comes to His Cupboard for help with groceries, snacks and clothing for her younger grandchildren.
"It makes me feel good because when they come in from school hey we got dessert, cookies or a cake or something I couldn't get them otherwise," Meador said.
More and more families are coming here for help. More than Stott ever expected for the cupboard that's open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday's and Thursday's and every other Saturday.
"We opened August 13th. This is our 17th day since then. We have served over 207 families already," Denise Stott said.
That accounts for more than 700 people.
"We are just growing and growing. It just shows you how great the need is," Denise Stott said.
"It is exciting. But it is a double-edged sword. I am excited to see people come and take advantage, but I'm sad they have to. But it is a wonderful thing."
His Cupboard relies on donations. It is a Feeding America Partner. Stott said thanks to that partnership, $19 can purchase 100 pounds of food. Monetary donations can be made online. Donations of clothing and non-perishables can be made at the building on 25 Depot Road, Boones Mill.