As she welcomed clients to the Mobile Food Pantry in Hesperia, Marcia Clark wore two pendants around her neck, a Jesus fish and a cast of her mother’s thumbprint.
Her mother, Margaret Johnson, passed away in July at age 86. A longtime supporter of the Mobile Food Pantry at Hesperia United Methodist Church in Newaygo County, Margaret asked that a collection be taken at her funeral to support the ministry. Margaret’s family used the money to host a Mobile Pantry in her honor.
The distribution served 161 people, many of them seniors, young mothers and migrant workers. Toward the end, Marcia started to tear up. “It’s one of those things where I think, mom, why aren’t you here to enjoy this?”
Even after years of struggling with COPD and, later, congestive heart failure, Marcia says her mother was one of the most generous people she knew, giving to causes that touched her heart — she even used to hide a few dollars in the pockets of clothes before donating them to second-hand stores — but food was especially close to her heart.
And there are many in the community who could use the help. Nearly 13 percent of Newaygo County residents are food insecure, while 17.9 percent are living in poverty.
“Without this truck, a lot of us seniors wouldn’t make it,” said an elderly woman named Shirley as she waited in line. “We’d have to choose between eating and paying our medications because the co-pays are so high.”
Since Margaret first got involved, the Mobile Pantry in Hesperia has given away the equivalent of 551,000 meals.
Marcia said her mother’s legacy was clear: generosity.
More information about Mobile Food Pantries can be found here.