The Woman Who Works to Keep Her Community Fed

Carmen Ricker_Greeneville Community Ministry from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo. Carmen Ricker is the director at the food bank offered by Greeneville Community Ministry in Greeneville, Tennessee where families who are without food can receive food donations. The food bank opened in 1984. Carmen started working at the Greeneville Community Ministry in 1988 where she has continued to serve her community throughout the years. Today the organization offers 9 different services to families that include financial and medical benefits for those who are not able to provide for their financial responsibilities.   Carmen has helped to expand the organization into what it is today. There are now five fulltime paid staff with forty-four volunteers. With all of the years she has spent working in the organization, she has made connections that help keep food in the warehouse and money available for those in need. Carmen organizes community outreach programs and promotes food drives to get the word out about the services provided by the ministry. She works together with community members to construct ways to better service people who cannot afford living necessities.   Carmen holds a high standard for the food that the organization distributes. She says that she makes sure that the volunteer’s look for rust on the cans (if there is rust or if the cans are damaged they are to be thrown out) and that the food is something that she would eat herself.   The Greeneville Community Ministry works together with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Feeding America. These organizations provide donated food to the ministry to distribute to community members in need of food. The local Food City also contributes by giving portions of the food that they receive to the ministry. Vegetables and fruits are donated by Rural Resources, which provides classes and information on how to prepare the produce for meals. Multiple churches throughout the community collect donations and bring them to Greeneville Community Ministry each month.   The community of Greeneville, Tennessee is working towards creating more solutions to making sure that each family does not have to go without food. Greeneville Community Ministry continues to grow and garner more avenues to receive food for families in need. Carmen Ricker is the woman with the connections and persistence to keep Greene County fed. She has the experience and expertise to distinguish how to work her way around the community to get what she knows families need in her community.   In order to make donations to Greeneville Community Ministry or contact Carmen Ricker, visit the organization’s Facebook page.        

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