BOONVILLE — This year Matthew’s Place Ministries at 165 Main St. is celebrating 30 years of providing emergency food and clothing to those in need in the Boonville area.
On March 19, 1990 Matthew’s Place Thrift Store and Food Pantry opened its doors to the community for the first time.
Matthew’s Place Ministries was established by local churches to serve the needs of the community. It began as the inspiration of the Rev. Mildred (Micki) Robinson, former pastor of Boonville’s First Presbyterian Church.
“Founded on the words of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible in Matthew 25: 35-36, the name Matthew’s Place was chosen for the volunteer venture,” explained Food Pantry Assistant Manager Janice Brooks.
As the new Board of Directors was created, Vivian Brucker accepted the position of treasurer, a position she held for more than 25 years. She remains on the board today.
The board continues to include representatives from local churches such as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Boonville United Methodist, First Presbyterian Church, First Baptist and Trinity Episcopal. The Rev. Robinson remained president until May 2004 when Mother Linda Logan, pastor of the Trinity Episcopal Church, was selected.
“Matthew’s Place is a needed and valued service in Boonville,” said Mother Logan.
The thrift store is open to the public. It carries an extensive variety of merchandise from household goods, vintage collectibles, gently used and new clothing, toys, books, record albums, jewelry, office supplies and sports and medical equipment.
Sales from the thrift store covers overhead costs like rent and taxes, and enables the ministry to purchase perishable food, such as meat and dairy products, for the food pantry.
“We are grateful for the donations of quality merchandise to the thrift store and to their customers whose purchases keep the mission of Matthew’s Place active and successful,” said Brooks.
Matthew’s Place Food Pantry offers nutritional assistance to individuals and families within the Adirondack Central School district who are experiencing financial hardship. These households include retirees and working families who struggle to make ends meet or who face unexpected medical or life events.
“Events such as a sudden illness or injury, fires, loss of employment or a change in family status can make it hard to provide an adequate supply of nutritious food,” Brooks explained. “Over the years, the food pantry has provided free food to hundreds of households in the local area. In January, people who lost their homes in the devastating fire on Main Street were welcomed in for emergency food, clothing and household items at no cost.”
Donations of non-perishable foods are received from Adirondack Central School groups, Boy Scout Cub Pack No. 13 and Boy Scout Troop 13, U.S. Postal Service mail carriers, area churches and numerous organizations, businesses and individuals.
A unique event hosted by Matthew’s Place in the past were the fashion shows held at area venues. The clothing and accessories were provided exclusively from the thrift store, including formal gowns and every-day attire.
Another local ministry created by Matthew’s Place in 1991 is the “Wish Upon A Star” Christmas gift program. The program was created to help provide children in the area with gifts during the holiday season.
Students from Adirondack Central School have volunteered several hours working at the thrift shop as part of community service programs as well.
“Our volunteers enjoy working with the students and teaching them the value of helping others,” said Brooks. “Last year, a student planned an Easter food basket collection through his church. The baskets, containing ingredients for a complete Easter dinner, were distributed to less fortunate families in the area with assistance from Matthew’s Place food pantry.”
She said, “We feel especially fortunate to have over 30 hard-working, dedicated and compassionate volunteers to keep us going. The only paid employee is Bev Kirk, who manages the food pantry.”
Kirk said she “enjoys helping people.” She has held the position for more than 25 years and said she loves her job.
Although the thrift shop is currently closed due to the pandemic, area residents may call 315-942-6277 to make arrangements to pick up food.
“We are grateful for the contributions of quality merchandise, non-perishable food and funding from the community,” Brooks said. “We hope to continue assisting local residents for many years to come.”
For the latest information about Matthew’s Place, check them out on Facebook or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone wishing to make a monetary contribution, can now send a donation through PayPal. There is also a link to the PayPal site from Matthew’s Place Facebook page.