This article appears in the News edition of the Calvin Seminary Forum
Every Monday and Wednesday following lunch, you can find a buzz of activity in the basement of Calvin Seminary. This is where the Idema Food Pantry and Clothing Closet is located. There is fellowship and laughter as families connect while waiting in line for the doors to open. Students and their families have the opportunity to stock up on food and household staples they need. One of the things that the pantry takes pride in is the availability of fresh produce and healthy options. These are items that are often difficult to afford on a student budget but are so important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fresh produce, meat, dairy products, international foods, and kitchen staples are some of the items available each week.
The clothing closet is open whenever the building is open and is a place where students are able to take clothing, shoes, and household items that their family needs. There is no cost and all items are donated from students, staff, and supporters in the community. Local churches have even led clothing drives to help stock the clothing closet for students. We are blessed!
The food pantry and clothing closet are run mainly on a volunteer basis. There has also more recently been opportunity for seminary staff and faculty to be involved with volunteering in the pantry and closet as well. We are so thankful to all of the volunteers, as well as those who have invested financially. By funding and making donations to this important ministry, many students are able to nourish and clothe their families in ways they would otherwise be unable to afford. God has very clearly been at work and has provided in ways that exceed our expectations each week. We are constantly amazed! Thank you to those who have invested in this ministry. We are beyond grateful!
Brad and Rebecca Bootsma (Idema Food Pantry coordinators)