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FANN@PHBC Home » About Us » Ministries » FANN@PHBC

It starts with the food, but pretty soon it’s all about community.

In 2015, members of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church read the book ToxicCharity. An alternative food pantry model is championed in the book, and we were able to see this unique ministry in person at First United Methodist Church in Little Rock.

That summer, our congregation approved funding to begin this new kind of food pantry called FANN: Friends and Neighbors Network. We reached out to families with children attending the public school just a few blocks from our church; our initial meeting was September of 2015.

FANN@PHBC is now compromised of 10 families, a total of 40 adults and children who meet at 5:30PM on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. FANNs are smaller groups on purpose; the ministry is more than a transaction.  All FANN members volunteer at each meeting and fulfill duties like:

  • ordering the food from our local food bank,
  • picking the food up in the truck donated to the church for this ministry,
  • signing members in,
  • unloading, sorting, and distributing the food,
  • taking care of the children present,
  • cleaning and arranging the space to its pre-meeting state, and
  • planning future meetings.

Per FANN philosophy, every FANN family pays a $5 joining fee and dues of $3 at each meeting.  This money belongs to the FANN, and each December members have voted to donate all of their dues to local non-profit groups with which they have personal connections. In adherence to our local foodbank’s guidelines, FANN dues are never used for food.  In 2017, $3,500 was spent on 21,156 pounds of food which included 3,652 pounds of fresh produce.  This money comes from a unique funding source:  Hillcrest Farmers’ Market—a cherished weekly community outreach event which takes over the sidewalk in front of PHBC along Kavanaugh Boulevard each Saturday morning.

FANN meetings aren’t just about food and fellowship: members have invited speakers on budgeting, cybersecurity, gardening, and yoga to educate everyone in attendance.  As the school year approached in 2017, one of PHBC’s Sunday School classes asked to support the FANN by providing school supplies to the children of FANN families and did so again in 2018.  A talented FANN member designed thank-you cards the children colored to convey their appreciation to vendors at Hillcrest Farmers’ Market, speakers, the generous Sunday School class, and the organizations to whom they donate their dues.

Call 501.626.2890 and come visit a FANN meeting to learn more about how this group started with the food, but has become a community.

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