Thrift store raising money for the needy

Photo: Christal Riley

Meagan Greene

Now residing in what used to be the Biltmore Motel is a Christian thrift store and food pantry where can people shop, donate and volunteer for a good cause.

The Christian Social Ministries run a thrift store located on the 301 bypass that uses all the money acquired by shoppers to buy food for the hungry.

Barbara Alderman, CSM volunteer said, “We get some really nice name brand clothes, this is really good for college kids looking for pots and pans for the year.”

Items found at the CSM thrift store include: men, women and children’s clothes along with books, kitchenware, sports gear and household decor.

There are many alleys that open up for this ministry because of the thrift store.

Brother John Long, director of the Ogeechee River Christian Social Ministries said, “Our pricing is way underneath other thrift stores, we’ll give clothes away too, a lot of discharged inmates from the prison, they don’t have anything when they’re discharged, so we’ll set them up with 3 or 4 sets of clothes. “

With inexpensive prices this Southern Baptist-based business spends every dime made in the thrift shop for the food pantry.

Betty Tankersly, CSM volunteer at the food pantry, “I interview people in the food pantry, we do a little paper work on them and we help them get their food to the car, it’s based on family size. “

People that are eligible to acquire food from the food pantry will need to go through a pre-evaluation to make sure they are in the same need as others that pass through.

“The paperwork is simple we have to know who they are and where they live and what the need is. They can be employed but you know just on hard times, mainly trying to help people who need it,” Tankersly said.

The food pantry connected with the CSM thrift store buys it’s food from Second Harvest and Georgia Nutritional Assistant Programs. The types of food purchased with all donated money are vegetables, fruits and meats.

Long said, “I’m totally committed to it, it’s an awesome way to share the love of Christ, there’s a tremendous need and we’re just scratching the surface.”

On average CSM helps up to 100 families a week.

“Something that’s unique about our food pantry is that we let families come twice a month, a lot of your other food pantries only let families come in once every six months, so we really and truly try to meet the need rather than just put on a Band-Aid,” Long said.

Long said, “A lot of people come for the prayer as much as they do for the food.”