Food pantry opening in Walnut Springs

Ashley Inge
Volunteers are pitching in to get ready for the grand opening of OpenDoor Food Bank in Walnut Springs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 22.

OpenDoor Church in Burleson is working with locals in Walnut Springs to open a food pantry for those in need.

Pastor with OpenDoor Church Troy Brewer and his wife, Leanna, started OpenDoor Food Bank over 30 years ago.

The OpenDoor Food Bank in Joshua fed over 116,000 people with over five million pounds of food in 2018.

The owner of Blackies Bait Shop in Walnut Springs, Dobber Stephenson, was aware of OpenDoor’s ministry to free girls from sexual slavery worldwide. He asked if he could partner with Answer International by giving the church $1 from every steak dinner sold.

“The more we talked with Dobber, he found out about our food warehouse and food bank in rural Joshua and asked if we could help the needy in the Walnut Springs area,” said Kyp Shillam, OpenDoor spokesperson. “The answer is always yes.”

Stephenson gave OpenDoor a building and the staff at the church is now putting a food pantry together. A few of the local pastors have been pitching in to help and Shillam said it is mostly finished.

The food pantry will be open every other Friday following the grand opening on March 22.

The food pantry will have between 40 to 50 items every other Friday. Folks can choose up to 30 items with a limit of two per individual item.

They will have fresh veggies, fruit and frozen meats, along with other boxed and packaged food items. A vendor in Meridian will donate bread, and toiletries will also be available.

“We have some of the greatest food companies in the world that donate millions of pounds of food to us and we promised we would give it away, so that’s what we do, we give it away,” Brewer said.

Shillam said they also don’t shame anybody because everyone needs food.

“We do not ask for proof of residency. We don’t care where you’re from. If you want food, come and get it,” Shillam said.

"You can't steal from us. We're giving it away," Brewer said.

OpenDoor Food Bank has provided food for 25 other smaller churches and ministries. They also partner with local restaurants to feed the needy children of Norwood Elementary and they give them weekend food bags each week.

“We will build local prayer teams to be on hand at food outreaches to pray for people,” Shillam said. “OpenDoor Prayer Teams pray with anyone in need at each food outreach. We have seen a crazy number of healings, jobs and other miracles from our food bank.”

"Miracles happen in the context of serving," Brewer said.

The soft opening for the food pantry will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 8, and the grand opening will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 22. The food pantry will be located at 4156 Third Street in Walnut Springs.

“We’re very happy about moving in to Walnut Springs,” Brewer said. “We just want to help people. We have no agenda. We are not doing this to get people to come to church, we are doing this because we are the church and we feel like this is what the church is supposed to be doing and because we have the ability to do it, I can’t think of a good reason not to.”