To God Be The Glory Ministries

To God Be The Glory
Food Ministries'


“Get Up and Feed the Hungry”

 

“Get up and feed the hungry” were the words heard by Cortland James in 1998 by God.  

That is when Poughkeepsie resident, and former IBM employee Cortland James, and his wife Betty, began a mission to do exactly what God told him to do. He founded To God Be the Glory Ministries. Cortland passed away a little over a year ago, but his mission of feeding the hungry has only gotten stronger.  

Local area resident Jim Billups met Cortland James at IBM in 1979 when they began working for the same company. “We both started on the same day and retired on the same day.” Both men became friendly throughout the years and Billups was curious about Cortland’s endeavor after their mutual retirement.  

Billups read in a newspaper one day about what Cortland had accomplished with a food pantry he started. In most cases local area supermarkets contribute their ‘day old’ merchandise to food pantries. “I saw that Freihofers gave them 4500 loaves of bread!” Billups called up Cortland to chat about this and he became interested in helping.  

Three years later Billups is now the pantry’s area coordinator for the northeast part of Dutchess County. “I travel about 300 to 350 miles per week,” said Billups, who at one point traveled across the river to pick up “as much bread as I could fit in my van.” He now picks up food from local supermarkets in the area, such as Stop N Shop and Hannafords, five to seven days a week. (Hannafords seven days a week and Stop N Shop five days a week.) “I deliver food at least four days a week and I have pickups from my house as much as six days a week from churches, individual families and other food ministries.”  

Billups services about 150 families, five churches and about five other food banks. “And,” says Billups, “we are the only ministry to receive meats — everything from hot dogs to filet mignon.” He collects about 10 boxes of meat a week to help feed the hungry in addition to a van load of other items such as baked goods, and fruits and vegetables. Some of the boxes of meats he collects are retail valued at over $1000.  

So in effect the ‘wasted’ supermarket foods are not wasted at all. “The biggest thrill I have is every Friday at Tymor Park the senior citizens come with their shopping bags. They love it.” Billups said it is a blessing that he can deliver these goods to them. “I can relate to what they are going through.”  

President of the senior’s group that meets at Tymor, Eleanor Voigt, said, “The seniors just love it. They are thrilled to pieces.” Voigt stated that although the seniors receive the food for free, they do make donations each and every week to the food pantry. Voigt said she is very happy and pleased to have Jim visit each week. “Jim has been very nice to us.”  

Another member of the senior’s group is Gloria Meier. She said, “The seniors appreciate Jim bringing the food to them every Friday.”  They enjoy picking out the different baked goods and other selections. “Some pick up food for others in need as well.” Gloria added, “It’s very nice of Jim to do this” as a volunteer.  

Living on a fixed income is not easy these days – and with a recession in place so many families are without the traditional ‘bread winner’. But at least many can take advantage of the free food from To God Be the Glory Ministries. “There is no prerequisite,” said Billups. “If you need food, it’s there.”  

To learn more about how you can help To God Be the Glory Ministries, their mailing address is:
To God Be the Glory Ministries
PO Box 1687
Poughkeepsie, NY  12601
or call (845) 452-5525.  

Article by
Kathy Welsh, Publisher
Country Courier Magazine
43 Cutler Lane
LaGrangeville, NY  12540
(845) 724-4762
www.CountryCourierMagazine.com

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Call us at 845-452-5525