Fruitful ministries feeds people, raises funds to feed even more

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Vallerie Clark stands by some of the delicious food she and many volunteers lovingly prepared for the auction/appreciation event.

Crestwood United Methodist pastor and Fruitful Ministries board member Jennifer Wheeler shows off a beautiful photo from the auction.
(Photos by Cynthia Price)

By Cynthia Price

When last we saw Vallerie Clark, she was running a food-and-used-goods ministry out of the Hovey House, and hoping to get non-profit status for her new organization, Fruitful Ministries.

A lot has happened since then. Fruitful Ministries has gotten its 501(c)(3) designation, and the ministry has moved to offices in the MySpace building at 1657 S. Getty. They are on the ground floor in  Suite 36, and Clark’s gift for receiving donations has resulted in great abundance.

The group has also named a board and partnered with many people and organizations to make free food available to a variety of people in need, from incarcerated people to returning citizens, teens at Teen Challenge, and many others.

Clark’s rationale is simple: in order to be restorative of people and bring them to a place where they can pursue spiritual happiness, it is critical that they be fed – and it is also critical to their well-being that the food they receive is healthy and whole.

On Dec. 29, the group held an auction and volunteer appreciation event at Crestwood United Methodist Church, whose pastor Jennifer Wheeler has joined the Fruitful Ministries board.
In addition to wonderful-smelling plates piled high with appetizers, roasts, and fresh vegetables, the event featured an auction of some very nice items – everything from an original photograph to salad dressing.

One of Clark’s generous characteristics is that she always makes too much food, and under normal circumstances, she and Fruitful Ministries volunteers take them around to shut-ins and others in need. At the Dec. 29 event, which was also a volunteer appreciation night with a lovely “Thank You” cake, the people present took to-go plates home and delivered them to neighbors and people they knew could benefit. “That was so wonderful,” says Clark. “The joy and the love and the work just spread.”

That seems to be always the case with Fruitful Ministries, but with so many Muskegon County residents needing their efforts, they are always interested in monetary donations, donations of goods, and volunteers. Those so included should go to the store space on Getty (see above - they are there from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), visit the Fruitful Ministries Facebook page or group page, or call Vallerie Clark at  231-740-1314.

 

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