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Pack the pantries: Ellettsville ministry fills bellies and heals souls

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ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. – When you help pack the pantries, you’re not just helping to fill empty stomachs. You’re helping to nourish a lot of souls.

Inside Midwest Food Bank on the city’s south side one day, volunteers were busy loading up trucks. It takes every ounce of their physical strength. But among them was a group of men who were also tapping into their inner strength.

These men are from Saul to Paul Ministries in Ellettsville; an addiction recovery program for men from all over the country.

“Life’s tough, you know. And a lot of guys don’t know how to cope with that,” said Anthony Thompson, Overseer at Saul to Paul.

So for seven months, the men live together, study the bible, share meals, and nourish their souls back to health.

“The goal of this entire ministry is to get them into relationship with Jesus Christ and in turn get them to where they can be an asset to their family. To be a husband. To be a father.”

As they do their work, Saul to Paul has leaned on Midwest Food Bank to provide the food and drinks for the hundreds of men they’ve served over the course of a decade. In return, the men provide labor needed at the Indianapolis warehouse.

“Part of our program is that they get out and serve their community for free and learn how good it feels to give and not expect anything back,” said Thompson. “They love it. They love it.”

Suddenly, those who needed help become those who give it. And that is soul-changing.

“Just to see people line up outside that door who are struggling and don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal,” said Thompson. “When you witness that, it’ll impact you for the rest of your life.”

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