Providing nutritious food is only a beginning step toward the effort of helping people to become a whole person. What makes a person whole? The term wholesome comes to mind.
Merriam-Webster's definition of wholesome. 1 : promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit.
2 : promoting health of body. 3a : sound in body, mind, or morals. We believe that if people seek God first then there will be no need to cling to those things that bring hurt and heartache. Clinging to God instead will bring life, joy and peace in one's life.
Matthew633 Food Pantry provides nutritious food to individuals and families experiencing emergency or chronic food shortages in the Willimantic region. Operating a community food pantry that is clean and welcoming whereby trained volunteers connect with patrons with love, respect and dignity. In addition, on the food pantry facilities, we hold Life Skills training classes on Household Budgeting, Cooking Skills/Nutritional Recipes, Stress Management, Computer Skills, Finding A Job and Studying the Bible.
Willimantic Income & Poverty
Median household income (in 2016 dollars), 2012-2016
Per capita income (in 2016 dollars), 2012-2016
Persons in poverty, percent
Population, Census, April 1, 2010
Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
a. Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom: Though it is easy for man to be partial to the rich, God isn't partial to them. In fact, since riches are an obstacle to the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24), there is a sense in which the poor of this world are specially blessed by God.
i. They are chosen … to be rich in faith because the poor of this world simply have more opportunities to trust God. Therefore they may be far more rich in faith than the rich man.
ii. They are chosen … heirs of the kingdom, because Jesus said that being rich made it harder to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24).
b. Has not God chosen: In the sense that the poor more readily respond to God in faith, having fewer obstacles to the kingdom, we can see how God has chosen the poor. "Church history demonstrates that comparatively more poor people than rich have responded to the gospel." (Hiebert)
i. When we choose people by what we can see on the surface, we miss the mind of God. Remember that Judas appeared to be much better leadership material than Peter.
ii. Of course, God has not only chosen the poor. But we may say that He has chosen the poor first, in the sense Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 1:26: For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. Calvin also writes regarding God's choice of the poor: "Not indeed alone, but he wished to begin with them, that he might beat down the pride of the rich."
c. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? James reminds his readers that the rich often sin against them, often because the love of money is the root of kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). For this reason alone, the rich are not worthy of the partiality often shown to them.
4. (Jas 2:8-9) Partiality is condemned by the Scriptures.
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
a. If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture: James anticipates that some of his readers might defend their partiality to the rich as simply loving him as their neighbor in obedience to the law.
b. If you show partiality, you commit sin: The problem isn't that you are nice to the rich. The problem is that you show partiality to the rich, and are not nice to the poor man! So you can't excuse your partiality by saying, "I'm just fulfilling the command to love my neighbor as myself."
c. The royal law: Our God is a great King, and His law is a royal law. Our King Jesus put special emphasis on this command (Matthew 22:36-40) from the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:18). James is reminding us that the poor man is just as much our neighbor as the rich man is.