Love Thy Neighbor
You share a meal, see what everyone’s been up to and spend time with people you care about. That’s what it’s like at Love Thy Neighbor’s monthly event at the King George Citizen Center.
“They’ve become family really,” said Gina Panciera, describing the people who attend their gathering for food, worship, and fellowship on the third Sunday of each month. Gina is President of Love Thy Neighbor, a Community Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen. “We’ve really gotten to know them. It’s more than just providing food.”
About 100 people attend each month. The event kicks off from 2-3 p.m. with an inspirational hour led by different pastors from churches in King George and surrounding counties. From 3-4 p.m., Love Thy Neighbor serves a hot meal to all their guests and volunteers. From 4-5 p.m., they offer a food pantry.
“The third week of the month is hard for folks,” said Chris Buck, Love Thy Neighbor’s Vice President. “People are paying utility and medical bills. Senior citizens are on a fixed income. For many folks, they’re running short on money by the end of the month. We want to help people maximize their resources and not have to worry about the food.”
Volunteers Don Smith, Kelly Painter, and Amber Breeden—the team from NSWC Federal Credit Union—spent the day building shelves and organizing food and supplies at Love Thy Neighbor, which is housed in the King George Journal Press building thanks to the paper’s generous donation of much needed space. It was just one of several Rappahannock United Way Day of Action projects taking place in King George that day.
“This Day of Action is the perfect opportunity to get the help we need,” said Buck, taking a quick break from helping cut boards for the new shelving. “Having this help is absolutely wonderful. We’ve been wanting to do it ourselves, but haven’t had the time.”