Caribbean native helps grow food pantry at Warner Robins church

Better to give than a receive: It's a phrase often repeated this time of year.

One man in Warner Robins lives it year round. Clifton Jeffers, a Caribbean native, is bringing island flavor to a local food pantry.

Inside the All Saints Episcopal Church, it's a jungle of sorts.

PDF: Houston County Resources

Leafy green vegetables sprout from boxes, and bread blossoms from bags.

Jeffers said, "We have hams in the freezer."

The food pantry is where Jeffers feels at home. although he is far from it.

More Information: Find out how to help the All Saints Food Pantry

The towers of tuna and mountains of macaroni hold a striking similarity to the island home of Nevis, where his parents raised him.

Jeffers said, "My father, he planted on every square inch. He planted all kinds of things from cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes."

His mother fed a family of ten with the foods they produced. Then, she gave it away.

Jeffers said whether it was mangoes or a goat, she didn't ask for money. She required nothing in return.

He said, "Sometimes we say, 'Mom, why are you giving away these things?' She say. 'Well, that's what God told me to do.' I say, 'OK'."

Years later in the U.S., Jeffers heard that same message, and his mother's example at last, made sense.

Jeffers said, "If I could be able to give a person one can of beans, l leave here, I feel I have achieved my task of helping that person to the next step."

He took the role of All Saints Pantry director in 2009, says Pastor Scott Peterson.

Peterson said, "He saw what this food pantry could be. We are now serving six to seven-thousand people a year. That's pretty impressive."

Jeffers is meticulous in the packing. He is a stickler for tracking the food and the people they serve.

He said, "I am not serving salmon and caviar. I'm serving food to help you with your basic needs."

His fruit may ripen in cans. The vegetables sprouted far from vines where his parent's grew their's.

The gift he receives in giving across generations and over oceans, he says, it's the same.

Since Jeffers started running the food pantry at All Saints in 2009, they have served about 25,000 people.

The church is one of 15 organizations in Warner Robins that helps people in need of food.


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