Fergus Falls food pantry users surprised: free food

Here’s your daily dose of sweetness:

People who have a hard time paying for groceries showed up as usual in Fergus Falls, Minn., on Monday night. Ruby’s Pantry, which operates out of the Church of the Nazarene on the first Monday of every month, provides a lifeline to hundreds of people.

They show up, they sign in, they pay $20, and they walk away with about $120 worth of food.

When the doors opened Monday night, 322 showed up, the Fergus Falls Daily Journal reports. They signed in, they paid their $20, they got their food. But at the end of the line, they got a $20 bill back.

Church members had donated $37,000 the previous week, although the church’s pastor was unsure how it would be spent. It seems clear he didn’t anticipate raising so much money.

“We wanted to gift them their share. We wanted it to be a complete surprise to them and a Christmas blessing.” Pastor Clay Mitchell tells the paper. “You could see the relief and the blessing that it was for many them. It was super meaningful to be a part of it.”

Ruby’s Pantry organizers were worried they might run out of food, so no mention of the surprise was made ahead of time.

There’s money left. The church will donate it to area schools for warm-weather clothing for students who otherwise would do without.

“We do it with no strings attached,” the pastor tells the paper. “We do it because we love Fergus Falls.”