This week's Pay It Forward serves two purposes. It helps a community food bank and honors the woman who started it.
Nancy Lane wrote to us about Bobbie and Tom Odom and their work with the New Market Food Pantry. "They have been the most amazing couple I have ever known in my life, their hearts are bigger than the whole outdoors."
Bobbie started the food pantry at the New Market United Methodist Church in 1999 after one of the church members suggested they should do more to help the folks in their community.She enlisted the help of her husband Tom and through their combined efforts with a group of church volunteers, the food pantry has grown to feeding over 167 families on a continual basis.
At first, Bobbie used her own money to help keep the pantry stocked, but over the years managed to get the entire community involved in making donations to help the pantry grow. It now serves an area of 110 square miles.
Unfortunately, Bobbie Odom passed away December 24th and Tom's biggest fear has been the demise of the food pantry.
Nancy Lane says that is not going to happen. "The church members all got together and we devised a plan where we rotate and take turns keeping it open."
When Nancy paid it forward to Tom, the first thing he said was "we'll buy food with it." He added it would be used to pay on their bill at the North Alabama Food Bank. He had just picked up a huge order to re-stock the pantry, because this year has already been a record year. "More people coming in, people coming in who've never been here before."
To honor Bobbie, the pantry has just been re-named the Bobbie Watkins Odom Memorial Food Pantry, but Tom is quick to say the food pantry is a community effort. In fact, he says the other churches in New Market make donations to the food pantry. "We're a line item in the Baptist Church's budget."
The Bobbie Watkins Odom Food Pantry is open by appointment Monday thru Friday 8am-4pm. Call (256)829-8862 or contact the New Market United Methodist Church.
If you know of anyone that is deserving of a Pay It Forward...go to whnt.com..mouse over taking action and click on Pay It Forward.
Please include a phone number.