God’s Pantry in Gatlinburg is filling neighbors pantrys

Hundreds of neighbors come each week to get a bag of groceries.
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - A growing food pantry in Gatlinburg is helping neighbors right at home.

Linda and Ted Fredenberg say they didn’t expect to be raising children at their age, but they call adopting two small children a blessing. Linda Fredenberg said they couldn’t make it without help from the people at God’s Pantry at First Baptist Church in Gatlinburg.

“We come every week to the food bank, and we’ve been blessed with their services. They’re so friendly and so kind to help with a lot of people,” said Linda Fredenberg. “Food and diapers, they always are so gracious to give us diapers, because that’s a big expense that we didn’t even think about at the time.”

Linda said bringing two little children into their home brought added expenses. That’s where they’re thankful that First Baptist Church can provide some staples for their pantry.

“You know, we didn’t struggle before, but now with little ones, it makes a big difference. There’s a lot of added expenses that people don’t realize, with little children,” said Linda.

Wednesday the church held a BBQ fundraiser that will help expand the ministry, helping them to purchase new equipment they need to better serve their neighbors in Gatlinburg.

“God is all he just provided and we, we were just waiting for god to step to the plate and take care of us and he did,” said Dean Crosby with God’s Pantry.

Crosby said hundreds of neighbors come each week to get a bag of groceries.

While all of this was in the works in 2018, it was the Dollywood Foundation that donated leftover wildfire money that gave this pantry a kick start.

“Just fantastic. We were just again so blessed that they stepped up and I don’t know what we would have done it without it,” said Crosby.

And many who don’t know what they’d do without God’s Pantry in Gatlinburg.

“It helps a lot. It does help a lot because we don’t have to combine the food to make larger meals, and then they help us with diapers also and baby food and formula,” said Linda.

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