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Food Pantry Archives

Past Updates


January 17, 2023

Well we always say each opening presents us with a new opportunity or challenge. Opening #2 of the year - RAIN! We quickly adjusted our plans for the day, starting with unloading cars under tents. The team was split with most inside and a few out. Despite the rainy, dreary day, we were busy. Many said 'Thank You' for being out on this chilly day.

As for deliveries, our two organizations we support are evaluating the families served. Two families have dropped from our list while at the same time we've increased assistance temporarily to a couple of families experiencing extremely hard times. 

In the near term, you will see a new sign on the door next to the existing pantry. The room where chairs were stored for the gym worship is being repurposed. Our refrigerators and freezers have a new home. Thank you, Facilities Task Group for approving this change. 

A God moment for the week happened when one of our senior members said she was having surgery next week and needed a recliner for her recovery. After Hillary ( our prayer warrior for the week) prayed with her, she knew someone in our church family had to have one. The request was answered within minutes and she will have a chair before week's end. This is an example of how Gayton blesses those in our community. 

Food prices are becoming more and more of a challenge. We are doing our best to not reduce the amount of food given. Eggs are one of our biggest problems now. We think a solution will work temporarily but certainly not the long term. Please look out for our monthly needs board at the entrance to each of the services. Donations of paper bags and egg cartons would be appreciated as well.

In closing we want to share just a few words from one of our families saying thank you to Care Ministries. 

...... We have been through some hard times in 2021-2022 that by the grace of God turned into reasons of Joy! You all have played a big part in that Joy! We thank God for each volunteer and every Pastor at Gayton. .... The prayers with me during my husband's illness and acts of kindness got me through a rough year! This is love, the. kind of love that God wants us all to love!.....


Carolyn, Mike and Amy

January 3, 2023

We've started 2023 seeing many familiar faces and learning how they spent their holidays. Many said they were so appreciative of the gifts received as well as the food. The relationships we have with many of our families is a wonderful gift to all. 

A couple of deliveries have been stopped due to client need changes. While a few deliveries dropped, we are adding extra assistance to a few families based on their need level increasing. 

Our challenge this year is the cost of food. We were very hopeful prices would stabilize but they have not. Our team is evaluating options to reducing costs while still providing our families the same or equivalent food. WalMart shopping has been added with Aldi to help mitigate costs. 

We welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Guzman (parents of Mrs. Bell) on Tuesday. What a lovely godly couple! They prayed with many of our guests and our team. We look forward to seeing them another opening soon. 

Our next opening is January 17. Be on the lookout for how you may be able to help us offset costs. 

Thanks as always!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

December 13, 2022

And 2022 is a wrap! 4 of 4 consecutive openings are complete. We've shared Gayton's love to more families than we can say. The response to our Angel Trees once again was fantastic. We collected donations for over 65 angels and Christmas presents for four families. There are so many to thank, so please accept my apologies if I forget someone - Gayton Baptist Church attendees, Belcher small group, Harmony Sunday School class, Mike and Marcia Barber's neighborhood, the Bridges Sunday School class, the Space and Hillary Billingsley for collecting angel gifts, wrapping and assistance in sorting for distribution. 

Our VOLUNTEERS are the best and we can't say THANK YOU enough. This group is the hands and feet of this ministry. See a few pictures of our day above.

There were so many who were overjoyed by a small gift to help make their Christmas just a little bit brighter. 

We are closed until January 3 but stand ready to help someone if called. 

Thanks to each of you reading this for your support throughout the year. This ministry cannot stand without Gayton. 

Merry Christmas to each of you!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

December 6, 2022

Well, opening 3 of 4 for the holidays is complete. One more opening remains which will be the biggest of the year (December 13). Despite the not so ideal weather, we had a steady flow of guests our entire opening, some new faces and some familiar. Being without some of our volunteers, we were hustling. 

With the large number of guests, there were a record number of prayer requests - 80% of the guests we saw Tuesday wanted a prayer. Jen, our prayer warrior for the day (and with Janet helping out) was very busy. A highlight of the day for her was being able to pray with a family in Spanish. This is one of the most valuable parts of our ministry. 

We are very thankful to Barbara Hammond's Dance Studio and Manor House for the very generous donations. It is far to say all of our 4 carts and bin were overflowing. This will help us tremendously. A monetary donation was also received from a local church women's group. 

As much as we don't like to do this, scaling back on some of our food and fresh/frozen items is becoming a reality. The prices of some of our key items have risen to a new level. We are creatively thinking what we can do to mitigate this challenge. 

Next week is ANGEL TREE and Christmas!  Many elves are busy at work making this wonderful day occur. Thank you to everyone who adopted an angel. If you haven't returned yours, please do so as soon as possible. We will be shopping for any angels not returned this weekend. This will be a day of joy, love and blessings to everyone involved whether you are a guest, a volunteer, minister on call, ....... The feeling of helping others is a special feeling. 

We will have a wrap-up email next week highlighting December 13. 

Forever thankful,

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

November 29, 2022

#2 of #4 Thanksgiving and Christmas openings are complete! We received feedback from so many guests there Thanksgiving was wonderful thanks to the turkey and bag og fixins'. What a great feeling this was to hear so many of our families. 

Opening #3 will be normal but #4 (December 13) is the best of the year. Everyone will receive a gift from the Angel Tree thanks to the church family of Gayton Baptist Church. This church is beyond giving and our families feel the love and blessings. 

Christmas cheer has already been spread to My Path Forward. Sylvia Hogwood headed this opportunity up for us to provide Christmas trees and decorations to young adults who have aged out of the foster program and trying to make a start at independence. 

Stay tuned for our final writeup of 2022. We will be sure to share pictures. The generosity of this church is unbelievable in just the few angels received back so far. 

Here's to enjoying this Christmas season!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

November 15, 2022

Thanksgiving Day arrived at the pantry with turkeys and all the essentials for a wonderful family meal. The festivities of the day overshadowed the rainy damp weather. We helped nearly 50 families between drive-thru and deliveries. Roughly 45 turkeys and a handful of hams were distributed. Thanks to so many for making this day complete - food donations, family treat bags from Space, unloading turkeys, prayer warrior Hillary and most of all our VOLUNTEERS! 

Now...... on to Christmas!

The next 4 weeks are the busiest of the year for us. With turkeys out, we usher in Angel Trees and weekly openings. While we are all very busy, the reason for the season and the gift to help others remains clear in sight. 

Care Ministries is busy in mission with our Angel Trees, adoption of Connor Heroes and Better2gether families and My Path Forward participants. All angels are due back under the tree unwrapped by December 7. Please include the angel with the gift.

Our write ups for the next few weeks may be a little short but we promise to share our season recap at the end. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Mike, Carolyn and Amy

November 1, 2022

Didn't feel like the beginning of November this week - a beautiful day to bless many with food and friendship. We continue to see a few new faces each time. 

Shopping once again is becoming more challenging not only because of supply issues, but especially costs. Our Tuesday shopping run (one of many for the week) at Aldi was $850. The contents of the truck equaled that amount (see the pic above). Just to give you an idea of an impact to us on the simplest of items - a can of vegetable beef soup is now $.92 where not that long ago it was about $.30. We are trying to find ways to reduce costs while maintaining the same level of service. 

Last Saturday was the Better2gether Halloween Hustle where Gayton Baptist Church was well represented. We had an information table showing how Care Ministries and Gayton support this non-profit as well as members working on the course setup. It was a great time for everyone. Janet Letteer had a special God moment when a child came up and thanked for the New Testament he received. He told Janet, he had always wanted one of his own. A special moment for sure!

Thanksgiving and Christmas are among us. The next opening for November will be our Thanksgiving blessing. Each family will receive a turkey and all the items needed for their meal. We are ready to present all the Thanksgiving fixings to each family thanks to your generous donations. 

Angel trees will be going up the week of November 14 (week before Thanksgiving). Our goal is to give each of our families a small gift which will likely be a grocery gift card. For those who have been long time guests and we have an established relationship with, larger gifts may be given.

The next 6 weeks for us are extremely busy. We have additional openings in addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We appreciate as always your support and BTW if you see a super good deal on turkeys let one of know. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy


October 18

Chilly day and lots of new and familiar faces. The message we are hearing from everyone is the price of things just keep going up. Hearing this really makes what we do a blessing to all of us. 

We are striving to purchase items that are the most useful to each family as well as the higher price items (ie: eggs). Shopping in multiple stores is back again. 

Plans are in full swing for the holidays. The monthly food drives are focusing on items needed for a Thanksgiving and Christmas meal. Care Ministries will be providing the meat. A donation of $250 has been received from Kroger to help defray the cost of purchasing turkeys. This is our 3rd year receiving this grant. We feel very fortunate. 

A new partnership is being formed with Children's Home Society of VA - My Path Forward. This is an organization Rick and Amanda Hollowell support and introduced to us. This is an organization assisting young adults who have aged out of the foster system. We will be providing shelf stable products, cleaning supplies and potentially Christmas decorations. 

In early November you will begin seeing our Angel Trees. There will be lots of opportunities to adopt an angel(s) and share your fortune with those less fortunate. 

Saturday, October 29 is the Better2gether (B2G) Halloween Hustle 5K at West Creek. B2G is one our community partners supporting families with children having medically complex illnesses. Many members of Care Ministries will be there volunteering. If you're interested in learning more about the event, visit

Thank you to our volunteers, prayer warriors and families. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

October 4, 2022

The past two openings have been the busiest since our outdoor openings began - at one point in time there were at least 8 cars waiting. Many of the cars brought new faces and families for us to bless. This Tuesday, volunteers made 22 deliveries and helped 30 drive thru families. With the number of families needing assistance on the rise, this holiday season we expect to bless more families than in previous years.

Your donations, monetary or food, are very much appreciated. As you can imagine, our food costs are skyrocketing. We are being very selective on all purchases. Our 'Pantry Item(s) of the Month' have been expanded to include all holiday items - pumpkin pie filling, canned yams, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans and any other item your family enjoys. We plan to provide each family with a Thanksgiving turkey. 

A little update on the success of the monthly donation drive:

82 jars peanut butter, 79 jars of jelly, 113 pasta sauce, 106 packages of pasta and 128 boxes of cereal and 160 cans of fruit have been collected. THANK YOU GAYTON!!!!

Christmas planning is underway as well. Care Ministries will have 2 Angel Trees (upstairs and downstairs) along with a few families being adopted by Sunday school classes. Stay tuned for more details. 

Interested in helping support one of our ministry partners? Come out Saturday, October 29 and volunteer or participate for the Better2gether Halloween Hustle 5K and Kids Fun Run. You'll see many familiar faces and have a lot of fun.

Thanks for your support! Know your prayers and positive thoughts are heard by our volunteer team and families. We are all working together to serve a common need in our community. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

August 16, 2022

Our prayer warrior was definitely called to action this week. We had one frequent guest come for prayer concerning a recent tragic family event and another for help in life guidance. While we hate to see this level of need, it is exactly what we are here to do. 

We were short a few volunteers due to summer vacations, but as usual, everyone pulled together, and it worked. A few new faces were greeted. These families all have young children. This trend is making me think our help to them during Thanksgiving and Christmas will be very important. 

Don't forget about 🎄Christmas in August 🎄! All monies collected will be designated for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. We will have two Angel Trees this year, one for local Better2gether and Connor's Heroes families and one for the Men's Recovery House. This is always a special time of year for the Care Ministries volunteers and receiving families. 

The August Pantry item of the Month is canned meat. In September, pasta sauce and pasta are being collected again. These continue to be more difficult items for us to get in quantity. Please leave any donations outside of either worship center entrance or in the cart by the office. Aldi's inventory is finally stabilizing, and this makes our shopping much easier - one store, one or two trips vs multiple stores, multiple trips. 

Thank you as always.

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

August 2, 2022

We saw many new faces this week, each was greeted with a smile, food and a prayer from Pastor Bryon. Heat and humidity showed up for sure, but the blessings and fellowship certainly outweighed them both. Deliveries to Better2gether, Connor's Heroes and local families continue. Feedback from many of our delivery families has been received over the past weeks. Overwhelmingly they are beyond appreciative of the food but in particular their delivery driver. Families are saying the care and genuine concern seen in their driver is so apparent. Comments like this from families make it all worth it. 

Shopping is getting easier in many ways now that ALDI is maintaining a higher stock level. We are able to fill in usually with one other store. The amount we are spending each opening is continuing to grow. 


Help us bless our families with Christmas this year. We like to present each family with a Christmas meal and a small gift. We are anticipating more families this year than last. All monetary donations received in August will be designated for Christmas. You may give via e-giving with the designation - Care Ministries. 

The Pack the Pantry August item is canned meat. Donations can be placed in the carts outside the worship service or Kids Min entrance. 

Thank you all!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

July 19, 2022

Our pantry continues to operate without any issues. We've seen a few new faces over the past couple openings. They've found us from our sign at the church entrance. Youth Pastor Jennifer had the opportunity to serve with us, meet some of our families and pray. The fellowship time amongst volunteers and family is a blessing to all. 

Are you ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays? Well, we are starting to plan and first is to secure funding. The month of August is CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST! All donations received are directed to holiday food and family adoptions. We will continue the tradition of our Angel Tree and the adoption of multiple local, Connor's Heroes and Better2gether RVA families. Each family thanks you in advance. 

Our Pack the Pantry item for August is canned meat. This can be tuna, chicken, corned beef hash, etc.... The choice is yours. This approach of gathering donations is very effective. The number of specific items being received is fantastic. As we were opening, this flat bed of cereal was received. 

Thank you to each of you! This is a special ministry to many of us and your support allows us to continue blessing those in need. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

July 5, 2022

With many volunteers enjoying their summer coupled with the heat and humidity, it was a busier than usual Tuesday. We had our normal 21 deliveries, 20+ drive thru guests and a grab bag table. 

Before our last two openings we've been very lucky to purchase all groceries and produce from Aldi. Even though prices aren't like they used to be, the ease of one shopping day is tremendous. 

The monthly Pack the Pantry campaign is continuing to be a huge success. In June, we collected over 70 jars of pasta sauce and 85 boxes of pasta. This saved us well over $200. WOW! The item for July is cereal. Drop any donations in the shopping carts at each entrance or the bin outside the gym door. 

Our delivery drivers are the best. They generously give their time and gas to go all over the city for families in need. We have a total of 6 teams. A special thanks to Hancock & Daniel for helping deliver to 7 families while one our volunteers was on vacation. We have forged a great partnership with them and look forward to continuing. 

Summer is in full swing. It's always a nice treat when there are carts to be emptied and shelves to be stocked, and to have some of our older Quest campers help out. Their excitement to do this is contagious. 

We are beginning to plan for the holidays. Stay tuned for our first event in August.  

June 21 ,2022

Meeting and assisting four new families was our highlight of the week! Each family had a different story on how they found us. Pastor Bryon spoke with each, welcoming and offering a prayer. Our pastoral prayer time continues to be an invaluable part of our ministry. 

Gayton is opening our doors to an art class for Better2gether families this weekend. This is our second opportunity to provide our facilities, benefiting this organization. A member of our team serves as the event host. 

Our "Item of the Month" campaign is proving to be a huge success. So far, we've collected canned fruit (May), pasta sauce and pasta (June), and CEREAL will be our item for July. 

Can you believe it's time to start thinking about the holidays? Financial planning is our first step. Look out for an announcement about our Christmas drive. As in years past, the number of families we serve is growing and this means more opportunities to provide assistance. 

We appreciate each of you and the support Care Ministries receives. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

June 7, 2022

Summer is here which means less volunteers at openings due to vacations and things that just happen with the season. This week was one of those, but you would never have known we had fewer volunteers, except that the ones working were a little more tired. We approached things in a more minimalist way for setup without compromising a guest's experience, and we prepped on Monday for all deliveries and grocery bags. 

For the first time since 2019, shopping was once again a one stop shop. Aldi had everything we needed for a month worth of food - 11 carts and $1100 later. Aldi employees were glad to see us and amazed at the volume of food we purchased. Two carts full of bread and desserts were donated by Aldi. 

Three Aldi shoppers donated money to us. Each expressed appreciation for our pantry and asked how they could help in the future. These type of events are always uplifting to the work of our pantry and Gayton Baptist Church. 

Thank you all for the outpouring of donations. Donations help us redirect funds to families having needs other than food, and we can purchase additional produce for distribution at each opening.  

The Pantry Item of the Month for June is pasta sauce and pasta. Donations can be placed in the bins marked "item of the month" or any shopping cart. 

We appreciate your support!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

Shopping at Aldi - 11 carts!

June 7, 2022

Summer is here which means less volunteers at openings due to vacations and things that just happen with the season. This week was one of those, but you would never have known we had fewer volunteers, except that the ones working were a little more tired. We approached things in a more minimalist way for setup without compromising a guest's experience, and we prepped on Monday for all deliveries and grocery bags. 

For the first time since 2019, shopping was once again a one stop shop. Aldi had everything we needed for a month worth of food - 11 carts and $1100 later. Aldi employees were glad to see us and amazed at the volume of food we purchased. Two carts full of bread and desserts were donated by Aldi. 

Three Aldi shoppers donated money to us. Each expressed appreciation for our pantry and asked how they could help in the future. These type of events are always uplifting to the work of our pantry and Gayton Baptist Church. 

Thank you all for the outpouring of donations. Donations help us redirect funds to families having needs other than food, and we can purchase additional produce for distribution at each opening.  

The Pantry Item of the Month for June is pasta sauce and pasta. Donations can be placed in the bins marked "item of the month" or any shopping cart. 

We appreciate your support!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

May 3, 2022

24 DELIVERIES and many new faces - that is how our Tuesday started! We couldn't have asked for a better way to start off the month. 

Gayton has answered our call for food. At least a couple of times a week, carts (both up and down) are being filled with large amounts of food for our families. Your generosity is really helping us to get all the food needed. Multiple shopping trips are being done each week to gather everything we need. Prices, as you all are seeing as well, are continuing to increase. We are working to shift some of the food provided to help families mitigate these increases. One example is providing a half gallon of milk. Also with the warmer weather returning, fresh produce will increase. 

Deliveries are taking on a life of their own. Connor's Heroes, Better2Gether and locals make up our list. Many thanks to the Hancock, Daniel & Johnson Gives Back program for joining us Tuesday. (For those who don't know, this is Scott Johnson's firm.) Their team of 6, delivered to 7 of our families. We look forward to this partnership continuing. 

The new Pack the Pantry campaign of focusing on one food type per month has gotten off to a great start. April was peanut butter and jelly month. A total of 76 peanut butter and 68 jelly were collected. With only being a few days into May, 91 can of fruits collected. This is amazing! THANK YOU GAYTON!

As always, thank you! Our families are truly blessed. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

April 19, 2022

So, we thought it was Spring but not this week! The weather was windy and chilly but our faithful volunteer base went to work and welcomed all our guests. 

Our ministry has been busy the past few weeks. We added 4 new delivery families and hosted an easter egg hunt for the Better2gether organization. New deliveries means more drivers are needed. The easter egg hunt was enjoyed by all participants and our host, Mike Barber. This was another opportunity to partner and support an organization in which we provide food to families in need. We will be seeking additional opportunities like this to open our church property to Better2gether and Connor's Heroes. 

The new Pack the Pantry campaign is off to a great start. Each month a new item(s) will be featured on the board. You can simply shop for the item and place in the bin below the sign. April is peanut butter and jelly. To date, 64 jars of peanut butter and 49 jelly have been donated. Look for May's item on our signs and newsletter.

We continue to work through shortages by offering substitute items. 

Serving in our food pantry is a passion of our volunteers. Our families and volunteers are equally blessed. 

Thank you for your faithful support. 

Mike, Amy and Carolyn

Easter Treats for our Food Pantry guests.

April 5, 2022

Easter is among us and what better time to share the love of Jesus! We gifted each family, whether a drive thru or delivery, a little something extra - a card with wishes for a bright and blessed Easter and filled easter eggs for the children. And we can't forget Honey Baked Ham's donation of over 40 hams, one for each family. The generosity of this business is outstanding. Thank you also to Short Pump Rotary for volunteering. 

Look out for our new Pack the Pantry campaign! Each month a new item(s) will be featured on the board near the front and gym entrances . You can simply shop for the item and place in the bin below the sign. Hopefully this will make it easier to know what to buy for the pantry. 

As reported last month, shopping is becoming more and more challenging. Creativity is in full swing to meet our needs. 

Soon you will see signs for the Food Pantry at the church entrance. Our goal is to make our ministry more visible to the community driving by. Signs are also being added to direct guests to where we are located. 

Saturday, April 16 we will be opening our church grounds to the Better2gether Easter Egg Hunt. We hope this will be the first of many events where Gayton can support Connor's Heroes and Better2gether. 

March 15, 2022

What a beautiful day to be busy with drive thru and deliveries. Seems as though the onset of Spring is bringing back a few old faces and a few new. We also welcomed two new volunteers to our team this week.

We are beginning to start each opening with a daily theme to stop and make us think "Why are we here serving others?" This week is how listening changes lives. In Proverbs 20:5 we read "Don't waste any opportunities to show people that all their answers and longings are found and fulfilled with Jesus." What better time to stop and listen than when each family drives up?

Be on the lookout for new banners and signs for Care Ministries on the front green and around the church property. Our goal is to attract those we can serve within in our community.

Food supply continues to be a challenge for us. We are mitigating obstacles to ensure our families don't feel this impact. 

Easter Sunday is Sunday, April 17. We are planning to distribute hams to each family with the assistance of Honey Baked Hams and will give Easter bags to children. 

Most needed food items are: pasta, pasta sauce, cereal/oatmeal and canned fruits. We are slowly shifting to more fresh produce as the weather begins to warm. 

March 1, 2022

My day started off with a daily devotional with a very fitting topic - Five Reasons to Serve God by Rick Warren. The 5 reasons - it is one of your life purposes, it makes you more like Jesus, it is the highest use of your time, it is the secret to greatness and reward in heaven. Impactful and a great way to open up for the day. 

Short Pump Rotary joined us in serving our guests. One new guest stood out today. He lost his job in the past month and is supporting he and his daughter. Coming to us was a big step. After a welcome and food, he drove off waving with a smile and saying God Bless! 

Our food struggles continue but we're maneuvering our way through it. The shift to more fresh produce is beginning as spring approaches. If you have a connection to fresh produce, please let us know. Thank you to all the donations that appear daily. 

Welcome to Rick and Amanda Holloway to our team! They are assuming delivery for multiple families and it couldn't have happened at a better time. 

Our openings will be shifting to the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month in April. This promotes consistency for our guests whether drive thru or delivery. In the next few weeks, you'll see a banner at the church entrance and yard signs to increase visibility to our community. 

Our most needed items are the staples: cereal, crackers, pasta and pasta sauce. 

Have a great weekend everyone and Thank You! Our ministry wouldn't be the same without your support. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy


February 15, 2022

A chilly but sunny day to serve the Lord and bless many. Pastor Bryon had the opportunity to pray with many of our families while volunteers were able to catch up with a few guests not seen in recent weeks. For those not having experienced a Tuesday with us, the fellowship is the best. 

Many prayer requests were asked. One of the most impactful was a mother with two young children being recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer. She is remaining strong, but we know these struggles are great. 

Our openings will be shifting to the 1st and 3rd of the month in April. This allows us to consistently communicate our openings to drive thru and delivery guests. We will hopefully be placing a sign in front of the church. Additionally, we will begin inviting our guests to join us at Midweek Meals. 

We are in need of 1-2 delivery drivers. This involves delivering to 3-5 families each Tuesday we are open. Everything is packed for you to load your car and deliver. Interested? Reach out to Mike, Amy or Carolyn.

We've received many donations over the past few weeks. You don't know how helpful this is. Shopping isn't an easy task anymore so the fewer things to buy the better. Short Pump Rotary continues to support in food and possibly volunteering in the future. 

Food needs this go around are:

Canned vegetables and fruit

Peanut butter and jelly



Have a great week everyone! Thank you as always. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

February 1, 2022

February started off with a bang! We delivered food to 18 households and 15 or so drive-up families. Our team is the best! Setup and take down are done with such precision allowing us all to spend more time with our guests and share in fellowship amongst volunteers. At the end of the day, I think each of us would say what a great way to spend time serving our God and community. 

Hygiene kits were created for each family member. These kits contained toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner, soap, etc.... Our Youth filled these bags for us. As these were well received, additional opportunities like this will be explored. 

A special shout out to Honey Baked Ham here in Short Pump. Over the past few weeks, they have donated a tremendous number of hams for our guests. These are always a special treat. We also can't forget the Short Pump Rotary for their ongoing donations of some of our most needed items. These community partner relationships are invaluable.  

At the first of 2022, our volunteers and Pastor Bryon reviewed our pantry - strengths and opportunities - to make our mission even better. One of the key things we will be implementing is a change to our opening schedule. It will be modified to be the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. This will create consistency and the opportunity for a sign to be placed at the front of the church. Other ideas are to create a quarterly pantry staples bag (flour, sugar and oil) and explore an item of the month campaign for Gayton as a whole. For example, a particular item will be identified for all to donate within a given month. Stay tuned!

Our ability to add more deliveries is currently on hold. Simply put, the number of deliveries outweighs drivers. If anyone has an extra hour or so on the 1st or 3rd Tuesdays of the month and would like to deliver (these are within 30 minutes from church), please reach out. We'd love to have you. 

Most needed items are any pantry staple. This past opening took us shopping at 3 stores, multiple times. The days of shopping once prior to each opening are gone at least for a while. Staples for us are peanut butter, canned vegetables, fruit and pasta. 

Thanks to Gayton for helping us be the hands and feet of Jesus for all we serve. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

Another delivery from the Short Pump Rotary Club

January 18, 2022

And we are off to a new year and evaluating how we may improve Care Ministries internal processes and outreach to the community. We will communicate any changes via The Glance. 

The first opening of the year had to be cancelled so we were excited to see our guests in person for the first time since Christmas. We added two new guest families through Connor's Heroes this week. One is a refugee family from Afghanistan. The father worked for the US Government, and the family had to flee the country. We are having to get creative with shopping as the supply chain is impacting grocery availability and prices. Our goal is to not have our guests feel this impact. 

The Short Pump Rotary Club is providing unbelievable support to us. Over the past couple of weeks, they have brought cart loads of groceries. The Rotary Club is a fantastic partner. 

If you are out and about and would like to purchase items for us, here's a list of most needed items: pasta, tomato or chicken noodle soup, cereal/oats and peanut butter and jelly. 

Thank you to Gayton for the support and assistance to feed our families. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy


Delivery by the Short Pump Rotary Club

January 4

Happy New Year to all. Well, the inclement weather was a hinderance to our first opening of 2022 and somewhat unexpected. But it did not hinder us from serving our community. We reached out to all our guests and partner agency contacts to assess the needs and offer any assistance we could provide. We made several deliveries and in one case “rescued” (her words) a family whose car was broken down in a parking lot, in need of something to eat and waiting on a tow truck. Their wait was over 7 hours.


We just got word that the Short Pump Rotary Club, Eric Perkins and Paige Holder, will be purchasing $1200 of food items for our pantry. This money was the result of fund raising event held earlier.


Our next pantry opening is Jan 18th and we are in the process of evaluating our most needed items. Peanut butter and jelly, any canned vegetables, soups are always appreciated.


A special thanks to our volunteer team. We cannot do this without you.



December 14, 2021

Words cannot express the joy and blessings felt by all who came or served at the pantry on Tuesday. Tuesday was our annual Christmas opening where our families were welcomed to not only the normal food distribution but gifts from Gayton and prayer time with Pastor Bryon and Hillary. The spirit of Christmas was in the air.

Busy was the theme of our day. Over 50 families were served - 17 deliveries and many, many drive thru families. It was all hands on deck to keep up with the pace of guests arriving. 

Over 70 angels and five families were adopted by our Gayton family. As you can see in the pictures, the generosity was unbelievable. Looking at the picture of the back of one of our guests, says it all - his entire families Christmas was supplied. He was blown away and brought to tears. 

Thank you to so many:

  • The entire Gayton family for opening their hearts adopting all of our angels for our own, Better2gether RVA, Connors Heroes and Home Again families. 
  • Sojourners (Becky Tyson's class) class for the poinsettia donations for each family
  • Pastor Bryon, Hillary and Jeff for offering a Christmas blessing and prayer with each
  • Wrapping of gifts by Michelle, Hillary and Caroline Billingsley's friends
  • Opportunity to serve two new Into the Neighborhood homes. There were roughly 25 people between these two residences. 
  • Carver Elementary staff was provided with supplies for a hot chocolate and coffee bar with snacks
  • And please forgive us if we have forgotten anyone

It was a magical day for a Christmas season of blessings. Take a look at all of the pictures. They sum up our day better than words. 

Thank you to everyone. Merry Christmas to each of you! We look forward to 2022 and continuing to impact the lives of those around us. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

December 7, 2021

Tuesday was much to the norm with both drive-thru and deliveries. We had an unplanned delivery to two new homes with Into the Neighborhood. (If you remember our Mens' group supports one home now.). It was a true blessing within 18hours, we packed and delivered food for roughly 24 people. This was just one example of great teamwork. This is what it is all about. 

This coming Tuesday is our day of Christmas blessing. Thanks to you, Gayton Baptist Church, and the surrounding community, for the outpouring of support and generosity throughout 2021. 

Numerous programs, groups and events have/are being held throughout this month. Angel trees, food drives, volunteers, etc. to name a few. All of these events will allow our families to receive the normal food distribution, a Christmas meal and an angel gift. 

We'd like to highlight a Jazz Christmas program performed by the David Esleck Trio at Tin Pan for two performances Sunday, December 19 at 2 and 7pm.  All guests are encouraged to bring canned goods or make donations all to the benefit of Gayton Care Ministries. Tickets can be purchased by calling 804.447.8169 or visit

If you adopted an angel, please return your gift(s) underneath one of the trees by end of services this Sunday. Items do not need to be wrapped. Don't forget to put the angel on your gift(s). 

Stay tuned for next week's write up. It will be packed and give you a glimpse of the wonderful expression of love each guest will feel.  

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

November 30, 2021

God treated us to a wonderful day to serve Him at our pantry. The weather was crisp, a little cool and windy. Although our volunteer base was a little short, the team of 8 volunteers all pitched in and did what was needed to do. We greeted one new guest and reconnected with another long time guest, with a delivery. Hillary and Pastor Bryon shared the prayer warrior duties. The angel trees and adoptions are going extremely well. One tree had to be replenished as all the angels had been taken. The Gayton Baptist elves were active this past 2 weeks. Special thanks as well to Dan Blankenship and his group Race Team RVA Running Club. They sponsored a 5 mile run around Brown’s Island and the entry fee was a donation of food items to our pantry. The donations filled up the bed of Mike’s truck. We passed out the December age appropriate devotional material Hillary prepared to children of our guests.


We are still experiencing food shortages, especially perishables, but we’re handling it by being flexible in what we can do and offer. We can always use food items like pasta and sauce, peanut butter and jelly. Any canned vegetable. Snack items like potato chips always are a treat for the kids.


We will be open Dec 7th and Dec 14th. The 14th will be our Christmas blessing day. Thank you for all of your support. 

In Him

Amy, Carolyn and Mike

November 16, 2021

WOW! WOW! WOW! Our Thanksgiving Tuesday was nothing short of fantastic. We blessed 52 families (largest since the beginning of COVID) with a turkey and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal to share with their family and friends plus the normal opening distribution. 

Our guests were both established and new families. A record number of deliveries were made to local, Connor's Heroes and Better2gether families. The opportunity to place a smile on a guest's face as we all prepare for Thanksgiving is heartwarming. 

We can't forget to thank the many who helped make this day successful. The shortages of especially turkeys caused us to think creatively - many were asked to go and purchase the 1 or 2 turkey minimum at a grocery store for us to have the right number of turkeys. This shortage already has us thinking about Christmas. Thank you to Kids Ministry for holding a food drive, as well as Short Pump Rotary and the Gayton church family. What a nice surprise it was most mornings to see our carts or bins full. 

Care Ministries Angel Trees will be up Thursday, November 18. Angels belong to families of Care Ministry, Better2gether and Home Again. There are 2 trees; one is outside of the worship center, and one is outside the gym. All gifts for Angels need to be returned by Sunday, December 12 at the conclusion of worship services. 

With the holiday season, we will be open three weeks in a row to help families prepare for Christmas. Openings are Tuesday, November 30, December 4 and 12. More openings mean more food. We pretty much need everything - cereal, soup, pasta and pasta sauce, crackers, macaroni and cheese, potato packets, ..... Donations can be dropped off in the carts outside the worship centers or outside in our bin by the gym doors. 

Care Ministries says THANK YOU for your generosity. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

November 9, 2021

What a great day of weather God gave us to greet our guests and be the hands and feet of Jesus as we serve our community. We were a little short handed but the wonderful group of 10 volunteers just took control and got things done, ahead of schedule. Our apologies to you guys for the downtime. Janet Letteer pitched in as our “prayer warrior.” Our guests really appreciate the prayers and the relationships we are building. We greeted a new guest and welcomed a guest back we have not seen in a while. One family let us know they are in a good place now and do not need our assistance, and that is a good thing. Our partnerships with Better2gether and Connor’s Hereos remain strong. Our ability to make deliveries to the families of these 2 organizations and our homebound guests make us unique among food pantries. 


We continue to be blessed with monetary donations and especially donations of canned goods. As is the case for most everyone, we are seeing supply chain shortages and escalating prices of foods, especially meats. Our holidays campaign is kicking off, and we are having a problem buying turkeys in quantity. This is due to a store’s corporate policy on limits and their available inventory. But we’re getting there by making multiple purchases of 1 or two turkeys at a time at different store locations and days.


Special thanks to Short Pump Rotary (Eric Perkins) for their continued strong support of our pantry.  Thanks as well to Hillary, Kid’s Ministry, and ASQ for the food drive.  Thanks to the “Gayton Elves” for your donations. Kroger awarded us a grant of $250 in gift cards that will be used for holiday food item purchases.


Our scheduled openings through the end of the year will be:

Tues Nov 16th. This will be our Thanksgiving opening and each guest will receive all ingredients for a traditional meal.

Tues Nov 30th., Tues Dec 7th., Tues Dec 14th - This is our Christmas giving opening.

We’ll resume normal opening Tues Jan 4th.


Look for the angel trees going up soon. Northside Outreach Center (NOC) boxes are out. Details about family adoptions for Christmas will be rolled out soon. 

Thank you Gayton Baptist Church family for your support!


Amy, Carolyn and Mike.

October 26, 2021

16 deliveries and counting! Our ability to provide for those unable to travel to us is becoming more and more prevalent. In addition, we had one new family come through our drive thru. Donations are starting to pickup. Thank you to everyone. The price of groceries is increasing at an alarming rate. We will be spending more to support our families. 

We are ramping up for the holidays. The openings in November will be the 9th,16th and 30th and in December will be the 7th and 14th. Thanksgiving is our opportunity to bless each of our families with a turkey complete with all the fixin's. Thanks to Kids Min for hosting a food drive for this. 

Christmas is a time to show our love for each family. Once again we will be providing a meal and all the fixin's. Angel trees will be setup outside both worship services starting November 18 - December 10. Angels will be available to adopt for individuals with suggested gifts. Numerous families will be adopted by many of our groups within the church, individuals and Care Ministries. If you are interested, please reach out to Mike, Amy or Carolyn. 

The holidays can be a very difficult time for many. If you know of someone we can help, please consider sending us their information.

Thank you Gayton! 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

October 13, 2021

Members of the Short Pump Rotary (SPR) joined us to see how we do things from setup, greeting guests, breakdown, deliveries and fellowship. We were so glad they were able to join us. SPR has been very generous to our pantry from donating many pounds of food and most recently our new refrigerator. They are great community partners. 

We blessed four new families, each hearing about us from in different ways. Each of these families, as all of ours, have unique needs which we will try and assist with. 

THANK YOU for all of the donations this past week. With the escalating food prices, donations are ever so important. 

The holiday season is quickly approaching. If you, your small group or any other group are interested in adopting a family, angel from the angel tree or something else, please let one of us know. 

Most needed items: canned vegetables and fruits, cereal, oats and soup. 

A few guest requests - a mechanic who can help with a few small jobs on a car and a family law lawyer and counselor. 

Thank you Gayton!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

September 28, 2021

Another beautiful day at the Food Pantry. We welcomed two new guests - one who heard about us from NBC12 and the other lives in a local neighborhood. Both of these families come to us with different needs and thankful they have found our ministry. 

The increase in the price of food is beginning to impact us. Our trip to Aldi was 10-15% higher. We are going to have to be even more selective in items purchased. Donations will be very important to help us navigate through this. This is not only a problem the food pantry is facing, but all of us. 

Plans are beginning for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Details will be shared within the next few weeks. There will be needs to adopt families, provide holiday meals, angel trees, ..... Begin thinking if you or your small group would like to take part in this. 

Most needed items this week are:

Canned vegetables and fruits


Canned meat

Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

Care Ministry receives NBC12 Acts of Kindness recognition

September 14, 2021

Our food pantry received an NBC12 Acts of Kindness recognition last week and the TV segment aired Sept. 14. Mike, Amy and I were humbled to receive this as we are doing something we love and showing our passion to help others. While we received this recognition, our volunteers play a critical role in the pantry's success. One of our volunteers and long term family member, Julie Bryant, nominated us and you will hear some of her story in the news segment.

We thank each of you for any part you've played in our mission. 

Thank you,

Carolyn, Mike, and Amy

August 31, 2021

We have a new REFRIGERATOR thanks to Short Pump Rotary! A special thank you to Eric Perkins and Paige Holder for their work on this. An additional refrigerator has been a need of ours for awhile. The partnership between our two teams is greatly valued and will continue in the future. 

Thanks to Pastor Bryon and a few others who helped one of our families with desperately needed yard cleanup. This is another example of how we at Gayton take care of our community. 

This week's mission moment for the Space was learning about Care Ministries. They learned what we are all about and helped us get ready for our opening this week. Two children donated money from their piggy banks to the pantry. What a sweet moment it was when they brought it over to us on Tuesday. 

A strong volunteer group of 16 makes our drive thru and deliveries seamless. We welcomed two new volunteers this week. Process changes we've made are working and allowing us to spend more time with families as they drive thru. One of our families lives 90 minutes from us. They have a very large family and a critically ill child; we showered them with school supplies for the whole family. Needless to say, the kids were so excited.  

The weekly meal for our next opening is Jambalaya. Ingredients are keilbosa, rice/beans box mix, green pepper, diced tomatoes and an onion. 

Most needed items are:

  • Cereal
  • Pasta/Alfredo Sauce
  • Muffin mixes
  • Crackers

Thank you Gayton for your ongoing support!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

August 17, 2021

It was another hot, hot, day but a wonderful day to serve our Gayton community being the hands and feet of Jesus. The rain held off and although shorthanded, our incredible group of 13 volunteers persevered through the heat and humidity. Thank you, volunteers! What would we do without you?  We've fine-tuned some of our processes to "reconnect" with our guests. Our deliveries increased by one family, and we are so blessed to serve families with children that are faced with health struggles. The ability to handle deliveries makes us unique. 


Our God moment of the week happened during our prayer warrior portion of our opening. Pastor Bryon had the opportunity to meet with a former pre-Covid Gayton family whom we'd love to welcome back. 


The Care team and Pastor Bryon had an informational meeting with Carver Elementary. We will be working with their counseling department to see how Gayton can best meet the needs of their school.


The resumption of a mid-week meal is becoming a reality and will have a “soft opening” on Sept 8th. Rumor has it there will be a pancake flip off between Pastor Bryon and Jeff. Look for details in the Glance and future communications.


Eric Perkins let us know that the Short Pump Rotary was awarded a District Grant to support our pantry. THANK YOU!


Want to support one of ministry partners? Better2gether is having a 5K on September 18. They need participants and volunteers. RVACare 5K


Our next opening is August 31. Meal of the week is Chicken Salad sandwiches and chips. 


Our most needed items:

Peanut butter and jelly.

Canned chicken

Pasta and sauce

Fresh produce and vegetables (please drop off the day before or day of pantry)


Thanks to all for your support to this ministry. 


Amy, Carolyn, Mike

August 3, 2021

A pretty day for the pantry. While our drive up guests seem to be fewer than usual, our deliveries certainly aren't. Hats off to Andres, Dale, Bob and Ernie keeping this leg of our ministry going. This slower trend is being seen at other local pantries as well. We are attributing this to this time of year. The beginning of school will increase our volume. 

We are always looking for ways to expand our ministry. Members of our team are beginning this work. We are excited to see the opportunities out there. If you have any suggestions, please reach out. 

THANK YOU FOR CHRISTMAS IN JULY!  This is our best year yet. We will be adopting numerous families for Christmas, providing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for all, angel trees and many more. This couldn't be done without your donations. 

Do you like to run, walk or go on a nice stroll? One of our community partners, Better2gether, is having a 5K on Saturday, September 18. All proceeds go directly to this group.

3rd Annual Better2gether RVA Cares 5K Online Registration

The 3rd Annual Better2gether RVA Cares 5K is on Saturday September 18, 2021 to Sunday September 19, 2021. It includes the following events: Better2gether RVA Cares 5K- Runners, Couch 5k- Support from home!, Better2gether RVA Cares 5K- Walkers, and Better2gether RVA Cares 5k- Virtual.

If you're not interested in running but would like to volunteer, contact Carolyn Miller, as there are many opportunities before, during and after the race. What a wonderful opportunity for Gayton to show their support. 

Donations continue to appear!

July 20, 2021

Food pantry days are always great days! 

We welcomed three new families. 

One had just moved to the area with multiple children. The mother was looking for reassurance that the schools her children would be attending were good and also looking for a church family, specifically for her children. Hillary was our minister on call, and in perfect timing provided school and Kids ministry information, easing this mother's worries. 

A new Better2gether family who lives more than an hour away visited us. We were able to provide many groceries as her family is large and has a gluten free need. 

The number of deliveries continues to grow. We feel fortunate to help these families who are facing critical childhood illness. Assistance with the men's recovery house continues as they are trying to settle back into everyday life after incarceration. 

Our needs continue to be the staples:


Peanut butter and jelly


Meal of the week: Undecided. (If you have any simple recipes with limited ingredients, we'd love to hear from you at or contact Mike, Amy or Carolyn)

Thank you to everyone's support and in particular our volunteers! This ministry would not be as successful without you. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

Shopping spree before pantry opening

July 6, 2021

Our latest pantry day was hot, hot, hot with temperatures over 90 degrees. But our fantastic group of volunteers persevered. We used 12 volunteers with some arriving as early as 8 AM and staying until closing around 2 PM. Our volunteers are just absolutely amazing. They are experienced now and know what to do. We are continuing our pantry with drive through service and deliveries with our community partners, Better2getherRVA and Connor's Hereos, along with long time pantry guests.  


We kicked off our Christmas in July campaign. All monetary proceeds received in July will go to holiday meals, assorted gifts for pantry guests and to supplement Angel Tree(s) 


Next opening is Tuesday, July 20th. Tentatively the pre0-packed meal will be Tuna Casserole.


Most needed items:

Canned Tuna

Tuna Helper

Peanut Butter




Thank you all for your continued support.

Mike, Carolyn and Amy

Recent donations

June 22, 2021

For the first time since March 2020, we had rain. The rainy weather didn't stop our team from serving our guests either in person or delivery. Our relationships with all continue to be strong and are in many ways strengthening.

Taylor Teague, Youth summer intern, jumped right in serving as our minister on call and loading cars in the pouring rain. 

Christmas in July is fast approaching! All designated funds to Care Ministries during the month of July are set aside to provide Christmas to our families. In years past that included a Christmas family dinner, adoption of multiple families to whom we provide Christmas and our Angel Tree. Christmas is the season of giving and this is exactly what we do. Please donate to our program!

Our weekly meals continue to be a hit. The meal of the week for July 6 will be BLT's with chips and cookies. 

Most needed items are the basics:

Pasta sauce and pasta



Canned meat

A spike in donations happened over the last two weeks, reducing our shopping trips Thank you!

As always, any questions or suggestions, please contact one of us. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

June 8, 2021

What a day! This was the busiest drive-up day we've had in the past few openings. Our volunteers hustled and a beat wasn't missed. Deliveries continue to thrive for Connor's Heroes, Better2gether RVA and our own families. Our partnership with Carver Elementary has come to a close this school year. We will evaluate this for the next coming year. In the interim, we welcome any Carver families to come see us at any pantry opening. 

Thank you for the increase in recent donations. Each donation allows us to divert those dollars in some other way to support our families' needs.


Short Pump Rotary has been awarded a District Grant to support the Gayton Care Ministry Food Pantry!!! So, a new fridge and plenty of food to fill it to capacity will be coming later this summer/early fall. Our partnership with Short Pump Rotary has been a true blessing to our ministry.

We are working with Better2gether RVA and Connor's Heroes to add families needing assistance. This in part is due to our fantastic volunteer base. Adding a family is more than providing food, it's the extra things needed and most of all the delivery. 

Most needed items are pasta sauce, cereal, crackers and fresh produce. All donations can be placed in the black bin outside the gym doors or shopping carts at each service entrance. 

Meal of the week is Chicken Caesar salad with breadsticks. Items are: caesar dressing, croutons, prepackaged chicken and breadsticks. 

Your ongoing support of Gayton Care Ministries is very appreciated. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

May 25, 2021

Hello donations! Thank you for the increase of donations this past week. It was so nice to see our shopping carts full and the black bin overflowing. Donations allow us to focus funds on other needs of the families we support. Also, thank you to Honey Baked Ham and Auntie Anne's for their continued support.

Our volunteer team is the best. Everyone knows exactly what needs to be done to serve our families. They are vital to our success. 

We welcomed one new guest who recently lost her job. While it was difficult for her to come to us, some food and prayers helped her feel more comfortable. The last of our monthly Carver grocery bags were delivered as the school year comes to a close. 

With the warmer weather, we shift to more fresh produce vs. canned goods. This seems to be very popular with our families. 

Deliveries continue to our own families and those of Connor's Heroes and Better2gether. 

Most needed items:

Any staple (cereal, crackers, peanut butter, jelly)

Fresh produce

Meal of the week next opening is Chicken Casserole. Ingredients are chicken (thighs or breast), spaghetti noodles, cream of chicken soup and rotel (or similar) tomatoes. 

Thank you to Gayton for your continued support of our ministry. It is always a great day when we can help those in our community have a bright spot in their day. Next opening is Tuesday, June 8. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

May 11, 2021

Another great Tuesday. We welcomed back a few pre-COVID volunteers and added a special new one - Pastor Bryon. We had a few moments to highlight our ministry and welcome him back at any time. Our day was filled with lots of conversations with our guests and gave volunteers the ability to catch up as well. The whole environment has a great sense of fellowship and service. (This week's pictures say it all!)

We served roughly 30 families with 11 deliveries. Our relationships with Connor's Heroes and Better2gether continue to flourish. And thanks to our community partners, Auntie Ann's and Honey Baked Ham. 

Our meal next opening in preparation for Memorial Day will be:

  • Hot dogs and buns
  • Baked Beans
  • Chips
  • Brownie Mix

There is still an opportunity to pack a bag for the pantry. Flyers are on the Welcome Desks or under the

Missions Tab Donate Goods at or click the link below.

Most needed items:

  • Fresh produce (As the warmer months are here, we shift to more fresh items when possible.)
  • Cereal and Oatmeal
  • Pasta sauce and Pasta
  • Canned meat

If you know of someone in need of food, we'd love to help. Assistance can be anonymous. 

Our next opening is Tuesday, May 25. Thanks as always for your support of Care Ministries. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy 

April 27th 

God blessed us again with a gorgeous day of weather and the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. With our group of 12 volunteers, we were able to serve 26 families by way of drive thru. Each family received a pre-packed meal of 1 lb of hamburger meat, buns, cheese, an onion, and a bag of French Fries. This is in addition to the bag of groceries, paper goods, another meat item, eggs, and assorted fresh produce. Yogurt is extremely popular with our guests. We made 11 deliveries for our partners with Connor's Heroes, Better2getherRVA and our homebound guests. We always put extra items in the bags for these families for the children. A new guest through B2G lives 2 hours away, and Carolyn met her on Monday and provided a month’s worth of items to help until she is back in the area. On the last pantry day of the month we also provide bags of groceries to families at our partner school, Ruby Carver Elementary. In total, we distributed over 100 bags of groceries and assorted items. The “prayer warrior” on call this week was Hillary, and she had back up from Janet Letteer. Our guests really enjoy having prayer. Our “Fill a Bag” campaign was successful. Every time we checked the bin and carts there were things there. Thank you to those that participated. The Gayton elves were busy. On Wednesday, Amy and Mike had a Zoom meeting with Eric Perkins and Page Holder with the Short Pump Rotary regarding a potential donation. Stay tuned.

Most needed items:

Pasta and sauce, peanut butter and jelly, any canned vegetables, cereal, tuna or canned meat.


April 13, 2021

Another wonderful day at the Food Pantry. The beginning of warmer weather brings out not only coolers, but ice. We saw many smiling faces today with 13 deliveries and 17 drive thru. Our volunteer team of 13 is the best!

Connor's Heroes, an organization assisting families battling childhood cancer, has been a partner of ours for a couple of years. Special request items are often sent allowing the family to allocate a small portion of funds elsewhere (for example diapers). Today each child received an extra special surprise from one of our volunteers. She purchased a toy for each child - little did we know it was one little boys' birthday and boy did the smile on his face tell it all (see picture) This was definitely a God moment. Must we never forget the impact we can have on another. 

Our meal of the week for our next opening will be hamburgers, french fries and a few fixins'. 

Have you ever wondered what goes into a bag of food? We are starting a campaign to let everyone know not only what is in the bag but challenging each to fill a bag. Look for information either on our Care Ministries page, in your chair at either service, or click the link below.

Most needed items:


Pasta Sauce


Fresh fruits and vegetables

Thanks as always for our support of Care Ministries. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

March 30

What a beautiful sunny day where we blessed so many and so many of us were blessed. You could feel Easter in the air. 

13 volunteers (2 new) helped make sure the day was perfect whether the guest attended in person or received a delivery. In total 117 bags of groceries and paper products plus fresh produce, meat and a few refrigerated items were packed.

We served roughly 63 families this week which includes both deliveries, Recovery House and Carver Elementary. The number of deliveries continue to increase as our partnership with Connor's Heroes and Better2gether expand. 

Below are a few of the highlights from the week:

  • Berea Baptist Church hosted a sweet potato drop over the weekend, free to the community. We easily received 50 bags with some of the largest potatoes we've seen. 
  • All children received Easter bags courtesy of the Agee's with an Easter prayer, jelly beans and a pocket size new testament (courtesy of Keith Mouraske).  Our deliveries alone have 21 children.
  • All youth, elementary through high school, received devotionals prepared by our youth teams. 
  • Our meal of the week (Chicken and Broccoli casserole) continues to be a hit. This provides families with all the ingredients to serve a hot meal to their family. 
  • Prayer Warrior Hillary prayed with each family at the conclusion of their visit 

Donations are vital to our ever-growing ministry. In the coming months you will see a few different ways you and your family can help support us. 

Most needed items: 

pasta sauce


peanut butter


snack items for children

(All donations can be dropped off in the shopping carts at entrance doors or in the black bin at the gym doors.)

In closing we feel very fortunate to serve our community. Take a look at all the pictures from the week and you can see the joy in everyone's face. It's a great few hours to spend on Tuesday's with so many. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

March 16, 2021

Our opening this week marked the one-year anniversary of our drive-thru pantry in response to the pandemic. Our goal was for our families to have no disruption of pantry openings during this time. We can say with confidence this never happened due to the overwhelming support of Gayton, our neighbors and local businesses. Within the past year, relationships have been established/enhanced with two non-profits, two local businesses, Carver Elementary and many enhancements all for the better of our families. 

So many great things to share this week as we served nearly 30 families in which 12 were community deliveries. We absolutely have the best team of volunteers! You can feel the passion everyone has for this ministry. God knows where to place each of us at the right time. 

As many know, Tuesday mornings is shopping at Aldi and we never know when something unexpected might happen. This week, everything was business as usual till we started loading one of our largest trips. A lady approached us asking for food. She appeared to be homeless but not for sure. We told her to take anything she would like, you could see the appreciation. Another Aldi God moment for us. 

Honey Baked Ham in Short Pump and Auntie Anne's Pretzels at Short Pump Town Center are partnering with us in food rescue. These are a treat for our families and we can't thank them enough for their support.

Our meal of the week next opening is Chicken and Broccoli casserole. Ingredients needed are listed below in our food needs. 

As we've increased our reach in the community, so have our food needs. Our 8 families for the two non-profits total 21children alone. If you would like to donate to our mission of feeding these families, see the list below for most needed items. There are shopping carts throughout the building and a large black bin outside the gym doors. Care Ministries needs your help!

Most needed items:

Peanut butter and Jelly


Pasta Sauce

Breakfast items (cereal and oatmeal)

Canned fruits and vegetables

Rice and cream of mushroom soup (for the meal)

As always feel free to contact us at or see one of us with any questions. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

February 16

Tuesday was a day of the unexpected and a true work of God. Our normal shopping trip to ALDI was interrupted as they were closed for the day. So, off to WalMart for a very different shopping experience. Thanks to our fantastic group of volunteers, all quickly adapted and the pantry opened on time. 

We set a new record for the number of families served in a week - 71! 29 Drive Up, 30 Carver Elementary, 12 deliveries (existing families, Connor Heroes and Better2gether) and Men's Recovery Home. What a blessing to help so many families across our community.

We have been supporting the Men's Recovery Home for a few weeks consistently. Food and cleaning supplies are being provided to help these men get back on their feet. A weekly Bible study is held for the home by some of our Gayton men. Since we have been helping the home with food, the attendance at Bible study has significantly increased. Is this simply a coincidence or a God act? A God act is our opinion. 

Meal of the weeks are continuing and receiving great reviews from our guests. What better way to help each family with all the contents for a family dinner.

Most needed items for the upcoming weeks:

Pasta Sauce and Pasta

Canned Fruit

Baking Mixes


Breakfast Items (Cereal and Oats)

Meal of the Week: Pancake and Waffle Mix and Syrup

Each opening we continue to experience God moments and feel so fortunate to help our community. 12 volunteers experienced this today. 

Our next opening is Tuesday, March 2. We are almost coming up to a year of our drive thru pantry operation. 

Thanks to all!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

February 2, 2021

As with any opening we can be faced with unexpected happenings. We had SNOW FLURRIES as a first during our opening. It was cold but we were busy on all fronts serving our current families as well as those of Connors Heroes and Better2Gether RVA. We are developing some great partnerships within our community. We are delivering to a dozen families now. 

Highlighting two of our newest partnerships:

Recovery House is a program adopted by some of the Gayton Men. This house of roughly 10 men provides a place to stay and eat while someone is recovering from addiction and incarceration. These men need the basics. Multiple bags of groceries and toiletry items are being sent to help each of them get back on their feet. 

The second partnership being formed is with Auntie Em's (locally owned pretzel business at Short Pump Town Center). In meeting with one of the owners this week, he said having a place to send just a few of their leftovers is a relief. Leftover pretzel items will be donated to us each morning of our opening for our families. This will be a treat!

Meal bags by Angela are a hit! As a reminder these are bags containing a recipe and all the items needed to make. So far, we've had Taco Soup, Chicken and Stuffing Casserole and Goulash. 

Carver "weekly" bags have restarted with grocery bags February 16.

Most needed items:

  • Paper bags
  • Tuna Casserole meal bags - tuna, egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup
  • Any staple - peanut butter, jelly, pasta sauce, soup, crackers, cereal, ....

Carver "weekly" bag items - shelf stable milk, juice boxes, vegetable and fruit cups

We feel fortunate having the opportunity to serve each and every one of our guests. If you'd like to learn more about us or have an organization we may partner with, please contact us at or see one of us. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy 

January 19

January is proving to be a busy month for us. We served 26 families, including deliveries, Connor's Heroes families and a few from a new partner, Better2gether RVA. Our deliveries are continuing to increase engaging 3 volunteers dedicated to this piece of our ministry. 

Thank you to our Kids Ministry for collecting hats and gloves for each family member. We feel the love from our Kids Min leadership and families. 

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Better2gether RVA. Better2gether is a nonprofit organization supporting children with rare and complex medical illnesses. As with Connor's Heroes, these families are faced with unanticipated challenges and needs. Gayton Care Ministries is beginning to deliver food to 4 families in the Richmond area. There is another opportunity to help this group with $25 Walmart gift cards to support Rare Disease Month. The Better2gether team distributes these on an as needed basis. (These can be placed in the Care bin in the church office.)

Meal kits are now part of a family's biweekly food bags. Thanks to Angela Agee for the organization and preparation of these kits. Each family receives a bag complete with all ingredients to make a meal. This week we highlighted Taco Soup and a Chicken & Stuffing casserole. Feedback has been great and reduces the stress of what's for dinner one night. Our meal next time is Goulash. If you'd like to donate ingredients for a meal, see below.

Quick update on Carver - Kid bags will begin again next week since pausing for winter break. Grocery bags will resume likely in February. Sarah Beasley is the main point of contact for Carver.

Most needed items:

  • PAPER BAGS (we depleted our supply with the holiday openings)
  • Goulash bags - macaroni pasta, cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Any non-perishable items

As you can see, we've been quite busy the past few weeks. If you come across an organization you think we can help, please pass it on. We'd love to reach out and see if a partnership is possible. 

Thanks as always for your support of Care Ministries! Our goal and passion is to serve those in need in our community. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

January 5, 2021

We started off 2021 strong with many good things to report. First, we helped 26 families either in person or via delivery. We engaged seven volunteers. The trend of more deliveries continues as our environment is ever-changing. Our new "minister on call" is very popular. This gives our guests an opportunity to pray with a member of Gayton's staff about specific needs. Valuable relationships are being formed.

Donations have certainly not stopped with the New Year. We received a significant donation of hams from Honey Baked Hams this week. The donation covered our meat allotment Tuesday. And our Gayton elves continue. 

Our lead team is working on new opportunities for Care Ministries to support our community. Stay tuned for updates and ways you may be able to help. 

Current food needs:

Pasta sauce

Baking mixes


Peanut butter and Jelly

Perishables (if near next opening)

Drop off donations in the black bin outside the gym doors. If you drop off perishables, please let one of us know so we can make sure there is no damage to the items.

We are excited for the start of 2021 and the opportunities ahead to truly help those in need. 

In closing take a moment to read a note we received from one of our guests. This says it all. 

Holy Spirit at Work in daily life

Dear Carolyn, Amy, Mike, Marcia, Angela, Giles, Becky, and many others... 

CARE -ing for people and Touching the core of the one's heart.

Knowing someone by what they eat is only the family members and a few good friends. You all did an amazing job at the Christmas drive-thru pantry. My neatly wrapped gift was so precious that it touched the core of my heart.

Having someone to pray with was a touching moment. Moreover being there to greet and welcome like a family was so special.

I had a meeting with my Professor at noon that day. However, I was compelled through the love of Christ by Person A a text to be there.

After finishing the pickup, I kept thinking that I should have taken a group photo with you all. Finally, when I went back home, I found the beautiful group photo greeting inside the envelope.

And much more. Thank you for doing this ministry and touching lives & hearts in amazing ways. God bless you and your families~!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

December 15, 2020

Our year finished off with a BANG! Day 3 of 3 is complete. The day was full of spreading Christmas cheer and filling all of our hearts with joy.  Food was provided to roughly 30 families including 4 Connor's Heroes families. Our number of deliveries continues to increase each week and we continue to see new faces. Each family received their normal bags of food, produce and paper products plus a ham or turkey and a poinsettia courtesy of the Sojourners Sunday school class. And Giles was our prayer warrior of the day. 

The generosity of Gayton Church and our community is second to none. The debut of our Angel Trees was a huge success. We blessed 25 plus Care Ministries families and 10 HomeAgain individuals. In addition, two Care Ministry and two Connor's Heroes families were showered with Christmas food and gifts for their entire family. The overwhelming feeling of joy from our team to share these gifts was incredible. 

Here's the reaction of one of our guests "I can't believe what you guys did. This is just unbelievable, the's beautiful...I just don't know what to say." Our guest's reaction says it all. This is what it's all about.

Our relationship with Carver continues to grow from just providing "kid" bags to food and paper products monthly. 30 bags of food and paper products were delivered to Carver Elementary. This is another extension of Care Ministries. 

Short Pump Rotary continues to contribute large volumes of canned vegetables, fruit, pasta, pasta sauce, etc.... This is a great new partnership developed during this pandemic. We look forward to working with them in the future. 

Tuesday was most definitely a GOD day. Each and every one of us was blessed and humbled to be able to serve. Love between our guests and volunteers could be seen. While this year has been one for the record books, we did everything, we could for our families to have a very Merry Christmas! 

Our first opening in 2021 is January 5. Any special requests till then will be handled individually. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

December 8, 2020

Last Tuesday was day 2 of our 3 consecutive weeks of supporting our families. The past weeks we've seen a few faces from the past. Deliveries continue to increase. 

We continued the blessing of our families this Christmas season with Happy Birthday Jesus bags thanks to our Kids and Youth ministries. Each bag contains a cake mix, icing and decorations for families to bake a cake together and share in the birth of Jesus. This is a first for us and we can't wait to see some of the family celebrations. 

We're are thrilled to say all angels from the Angel Tree have been adopted. Gifts are pouring in. All gifts should be returned to either tree at the close of services this Sunday. This coming Tuesday will be a true unexpected blessing to so many and we THANK YOU for your generosity. 

This coming Tuesday will be our busiest of the year next to Thanksgiving. Families will not only receive the regular food but special Christmas items, Angel Tree gifts and a few other surprises. Our entire team feels very blessed and humbled to show our love for each family. In addition, Carver Elementary families will receive "kid bags" and groceries. 

The generosity from our community is second to none. There is not a day that goes by without donations in one of the grocery carts. We met with the Short Pump Rotary via Zoom to show what Care Ministries is all about. We had an opportunity to show our team in action. Short Pump Rotary has contributed significant amounts of food to us. This is a great partnership formed that we hope to continue in the future. 

Most needed items are:

Canned fruits


Pasta sauce and pasta

Cereal and oats

All donations can be dropped off in any of the grocery carts or in the black bin outside the gym doors. 

This coming Tuesday will be the best of all. Thank you to each and every one for your contributions and prayers for Care Ministries. Sharing in this Christmas season with each family is a true honor for our entire team. 

Mike, Amy and Carolyn

December 1, 2020

December kicked off with a boom! We helped over 30 families with food and the first of many surprises provided by our Gayton church family. Our trial run of "minister on call" looks like a keeper. Each family is given an opportunity to share in prayer with a member of our ministerial staff. The response has been fantastic. 

Visit one of our Angel Trees, located in the upstairs lobby and Nexus entrance, to adopt either a Care Ministries family member or someone with HomeAgain ministries. This is a chance for us to help out those less fortunate in our community. All gifts should be returned unwrapped to one of the trees by close of service Sunday, December 13. 

Our reach in the community continues to expand. With the addition of Connors Heroes this year, Carver Elementary receives monthly grocery bags and we've started working with a men's homeless shelter.  A few new volunteers have started the past few openings. Everything our ministry does couldn't be done without our volunteers. So much occurs outside of our openings. All efforts are sincerely appreciated. 

Most needed items are:

Canned fruits


Pasta sauce and pasta

Cereal and oats

All donations can be dropped off in any of the grocery carts or in the black bin outside the gym doors. 

We are open three weeks in a row for Christmas. This is to help give our families just a little extra during this time of year where we celebrate our Savior's birth. 

Carolyn, Mike and Amy

Tuesday, NOV. 17, 2020

Our Thanksgiving opening this week was nothing short of AWESOME! The windy, cool weather didn't hold back our families or volunteers.  

Just to give you an idea of our guests' experience for Tuesday...

They were welcomed by a team of volunteers, received 2 bags of food and paper products, a bag of items to prepare a Thanksgiving meal, prayer time, and a TURKEY or HAM! 

Here are the highlights:

  • Gayton elves and Innsbrook Rotary stocked our pantry throughout the month. Carts would fill up faster than we could empty. Donations definitely hit an all-time record!​
  • ​Kroger donated $250 towards the purchase of turkeys! 
  • High school students from Glen Allen High School packed 210 bags of food and paper products for our Pantry and Carver Elementary Thanksgiving openings. 
  • Eleven volunteers welcomed our guests.
  • Butterflies for Smiles (a group of children using their talents to make people smile) donated handmade butterflies for each family. A smile was seen when delivered 😀 
  • Special thanks to Hillary Billingsley for spearheading the food drive with Gayton Kids and Agape, Space and Quest. Any family with children received devotional packets from our Kids Ministry as well.  
  • A first for our pantry was the offering of PRAYER for each family by one of our ministerial staff.  Thank you to Jeff Lindquist for praying with each family wanting prayer. Timing of this prayer offering couldn't have been more perfect for two of our families currently enduring difficult life challenges.  Janet Latteer jumped in when the lines backed up.  This was the most impactful and memorable highlight of the day. ​
  • Our partnership with Carver Elementary continues as each family received 3 bags of food and paper products with one being items for a Thanksgiving dinner.  

You can probably sense our excitement as our day was AWESOME! We all felt completely blessed.   

We now shift our efforts to the Christmas season. Here are a few ways to help us make this season very merry for our families:

  • Opening December 1, 8 and 15.
  • Food donations - any canned vegetable, fruit, soup, meat and pasta sauce. Carts are both upstairs and downstairs. 
  • Another first are Angel Trees. We've created angels for many of our families as well as HomeAgain Ministries to be adopted by Gayton. Trees will be located near the upstairs main entrance and downstairs at the Gym entrance. All gifts to be returned by December 13. 
  • We have a few additional things in store for the month. Stay tuned....


Another first are Angel Trees. We've created angels for many of our families as well as HomeAgain Ministries to be adopted by Gayton. Trees will be located near the upstairs main entrance and downstairs at the Gym entrance. All gifts to be returned by December 13. 


  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned Meat
  • Pasta Sauce

If you want to join in the fun and bless others, contact Mike Barber, Carolyn Miller, or Amy Cormier at . 

-Mike, Amy and Carolyn

Visit the Care Ministries page to access contact info and other details...

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

The rain and wind stopped, and the sun came out as preparations were underway to distribute Carver weekend bags and bags of food and paper products. Last year 14 children were receiving weekly bags, this year the number has grown close to 30 children and the number continues to grow. We are blessed to help this many families! 

Our next opening and Thanksgiving blessing will be Tuesday, November 17. We are closed Election Day. 


  • We will be closed Election Day (Nov 3) due to Gayton Church being a voting location
  • Thanksgiving Blessings Tuesday, November 17
  • Begin preparations for Christmas (opening Dec 1, 8 and 15)


  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Stuffing and Box Mashed Potatoes
  • Canned Yams
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Cereal 

We sincerely thank everyone!

-Mike, Amy and Carolyn

Visit the Care Ministries page to access contact info and other details...

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

It's a true blessing to see how our pantry and church help those in need. We have a lot to be thankful for this past couple of weeks:

  • Kroger donated gift cards for the purchase of Thanksgiving turkeys
  • Our very own Kids' Ministry is hosting a Thanksgiving food drive
  • Clay Tompkins' donation of eggs
  • Return of a past volunteer
  • Outpouring of donations for both the food pantry and Carver families
  • We hosted 29 families this week with 4 deliveries, 4 Connors Heroes and 1 new family.  


  • One of our volunteer families whose daughter is facing a very serious medical condition and has a newborn baby. Their daughter lives out of state where they are with her. Please pray for strength and healing for the family and wisdom for the medical team treating her. 
  • Pray for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as we prepare for the celebration of each with our families. 
  • Praise for the overwhelming support of our ministry from our community. 


  • We will be closed Election Day (Nov 3) due to Gayton Church being a voting location
  • Carver Food Drive Thursday, October 29
  • Thanksgiving Blessings Tuesday, November 17
  • Begin preparations for Christmas (opening Dec 1, 8 and 15)

  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Thanksgiving items (sweet potatoes, mashed potato mix, stuffing, cranberry sauce)

We sincerely thank everyone!

-Mike, Amy and Carolyn

Visit the Care Ministries page to access contact info and other details...