Notice to those in need: Farragut Christian Church pantry open each Thursday

  • Farragut Christian Church members and CARES Food Pantry volunteers who helped distribute items to those in need Thursday, Sept. 4, included, from left, Jennifer Crabtree, Dick Coombs, Ryan Crabtree, Linda Coombs (food pantry director), Brayden Kizer and his grandmother, Laura Noles. - Michelle Hollenhead

  • Farragut Christian Church member and Christians Actively Reaching Everyone food pantry director Linda Coombs arranges food items while her husband and fellow volunteer Dick Coombs looks on. The couple has been volunteering with the program since it began in 2004. - Michelle Hollenhead

Farragut Christian Church is showing how much it “CARES” for the community every Thursday evening, through its Christians Actively Reaching Everyone food pantry.

The church, located at 138 Admiral Road, has been steadily providing the service since 2004, but has recently stepped up efforts to publicize its offerings.

Linda Coombs, church member and food pantry director, along with her husband, Dick Coombs, have worked at the food pantry since it started. Dick put out an announcement on social media last week to help spread the word.

“We never closed, even during COVID, when we held it outside” Linda said. “But our numbers have recently gotten really low, so we wanted to get the word out.”

Linda said one issue has been “our regulars started hearing that so many children were going hungry during this time, and they were so unselfish and thought they had enough for themselves already, so they stopped coming.

“They were afraid they were going to be taking food away from children, but that is just not the case,” she added.

The food pantry was started by the Ted and Sandy Bumbalough Family Group that met at the church.

Joining the couple are about 20 church volunteers, which regularly include Laura Noles, who typically brings her grandson, Brayden Kizer, and Ryan and Jennifer Crabtree.

Although there are other food pantries currently helping serve the area, at the time it began, FCC was the first one west of Lovell Road, Linda said.

The church has a dedicated side entrance for the food pantry, which is open from 6 to 7:30 p.m., every Thursday evening. Staples such as canned goods and boxed meals are provided through Second Harvest and donations. Linda also shops locally to help fill the shelves of the dedicated pantry.

“We try to keep different things, such as chicken, Hamburger Helper, tuna, chili beans and pasta,” she added.

The week Dick put the word out, letting people know that the food pantry serves residents in the 37922, 37934, 37931 and 37932 ZIP codes, nearly a dozen individuals stopped by.

“We want people to know they don’t have to be unemployed to come here. ...”

Those in need are allowed one visit a month, and must provide an ID. Linda said the church also provides for other needs, such as prayer, or service options if needed.