Through the Eyes of a Participant

Sitting among a group of about 60 people, Aubrey Figures waits patiently for his number to be called. He qualifies to receive a box of non-perishable food once a month from the Joseph Project Food Pantry, a community partner of Dumas Wesley Community Center and mission of Ashland Place United Methodist Church. Mr. Figures, a father of two, ages 21 and 16, has been retired since 2005. For 20 years, he supported his family while working at the University of South Alabama’s Main Campus in the maintenance department. He has relied on the food pantry to help supplement food costs.

“I’m on a fixed income.  I don’t know how I’d make my dollars stretch without this food,” says Mr. Figures.

Mr. Figures is just one of the 100 households served through a volunteer food pantry run by Ashland Place UMC.  Participants are eligible to receive supplemental food based on household and income guidelines certified by the Alabama USDA Emergency Food Assistance program. In 2017, The Joseph Project provided 4,057 un-duplicated households with supplemental food. Of those households, 7,212 were adults, 5,573 were children and 2,154 were seniors.

Mr. Figures’ number is called and he returns with two boxes of food filled with canned vegetables and fruit, rice, dried beans, cereal, pasta, fresh bread, and snacks.

Smiling, Mr. Figures says, “I can make a lot of meals out of this, I think I’m going to go home and make some bread pudding with pineapples! I am so blessed and thankful.  The volunteers are wonderful Christian men and women. I love them for everything they have done to help my family.”

As one of the volunteer’s assists, toting his boxes of food to his car, he politely waves goodbye and thanks the pantry volunteer, wishing her a wonderful day.

If you would like to help someone like Mr. Figures, monetary donations or non-perishable food donations are greatly appreciated. All monetary donations are used to purchase food directly from the Bay Area Food Bank.

For more information please contact Dumas Wesley Community Center.

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