The Lord’s Harvest is a feeding ministry dedicated to helping with hunger relief in response to our Lord’s command in Matthew 25:31-46 to feed the hungry.
2017 Year End Report
During 2017 we distributed:
- 93,582 pounds of potatoes
- 18,644 pounds of pinto beans
- 18,644 pounds of cornmeal
- 18,644 pounds of rice
- 9,372 pounds of grits (begun mid-year)
To fifteen distribution points, monthly – namely
- Barnardsville Community Center (200 families)
- Beacon of Hope (620 families)
- Colvin Creek Community Church (Spillcorn) (50 families)
- FARM (Feeding Aging Residents of Madison) (40 families)
- Flats Missionary Baptist Church (Spring Creek) (40 families)
- Hot Springs Salvation Army Point (90 families)
- Ivy Ridge Apartments (20 families)
- Keystone Ministries (Gray, TN) (70 families)
- Kids for Christ (Hot Springs) (43 single mothers)
- Neighbors in Need (40 families)
- Spring Creek Salvation Army Point (80 families)
- Spring Creek United Methodist Church (40 families)
- Touchpoint Ministries (Gray, TN) (72 families)
- Upper Laurel (Bright Hope Methodist Church) (22 families)
- Yancey Food Pantry (Mt Pleasant Baptist Church) (110 families)
For a total of 1,537 families per month.
- 100 families were provided with potatoes, pinto beans, rice, cornmeal and grits in conjunction with the Madison County Community Thanksgiving Meal.
- 50 families were provided with potatoes, pinto beans, rice, cornmeal, and grits in conjunction with Mars Hill Baptist Church's Operation Santa (a program that provides a Christmas meal to families that are identified by Guidance Counselors from Madison County school whose children are most at risk for food insecurity over the Christmas break.)
- 100 boxes of potatoes, pinto beans, cornmeal and rice were sent to help our sister church in Washington, D.C. as they were having a difficult time getting food during the summer months. This was funded through personal donations and from gifts from the Mars Hill Baptist Church congregation.
The Lord’s Harvest distributed staple food boxes to 250 families per month to church distribution ministries in the Spring Creek, Spillcorn, Laurel and Ivy Ridge communities and in conjunction with the Madison County Meals on Wheels Homebound program (FARM). 84,500 pounds of food was off loaded, unpacked, processed, repacked, reloaded and distributed by Bill and Sharon Welsch with special thanks to our Bonner Scholar, Caitlin Deaver and the Mars Hill University Baseball Team and their head coach, Aaron Rembert, Jack and Carol Trousdale, and several other members of Mars Hill Baptist Church.
Approximately 3,250 pounds of food is offloaded at the church every other Wednesday. During the fall semester, Mars Hill University Baseball Team and their coaching staff, led by head coach, Aaron Rembert continue their relationship with The Lord’s Harvest as a team community project to help unload the staple food and help us pack the trailer for deliveries to Spring Creek and Spillcorn communities. During the Spring semester, many members of the Mars Hill Baptist congregation assisted in offloading the items from MANNA. We are very grateful for this very generous giving of time and sweat!
We are grateful for additional Bonner Scholars from Mars Hill University, who volunteer with us as a part of their scholarship program; they are: Yuliana Arriola, Juanita Guzman, Samuel Guzman, Fallon Hyder, Josh Jernigan, Rachel Moore, Shay Sargent, and Stephanie Wallin. During the summer months, Stephanie Wallin work with us was invaluable! (Thank you, Stephanie!) Still the lion’s share of the work falls on Bill as he makes a delivery almost every day of the week (Monday through Friday) and two Saturdays a month. He also picks up, on-loads, and off-loads all potatoes, pinto beans, cornmeal, grits, and rice by hand, as well as packing the trailer for daily deliveries.
One of our dear friends and member of our Board of Directors, Virginia (Ginny) Gaudelock Cumbee passed away in April. She leaves behind a huge hole in our hearts. She was a champion for children and she and her husband volunteered many hours with us.
Long time financial contributor and friends, Drs. Robert (Bob) and Rachel Chapman passed away in October and December (respectively) after celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year. Our across the street neighbors since our move to Mars Hill, encouragers and supporters of our mission to help “the least of these”, the Chapman’s will be greatly missed.
In 2017 milestones . . .
- We received a $1,000 grant from Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota, FL
- We received a $1000 grant from the Western North Carolina United Methodist Church
- A dear friend and wonderful visual artist, Judi Davids created a beautiful barn quilt for our barn!
- 2018 will mark our seventh year of ministry
Without the financial support of those who served in the military with Bill, personal friends and family, and members of Mars Hill Baptist Church, The Lord’s Harvest would not exist. 100% of donations go towards feeding the hungry in Madison County and in surrounding counties. We wish to thank ALL who have given monetarily to help us continue to minister to those who are hungry in Madison and surrounding counties. If you would like to help, we would welcome your assistance; not only financially, but also physically and through your prayer support.
For more information on how YOU might be involved, please contact Bill Welsch at 828-808-5002. For more information about The Lord’s Harvest, please see our website lordsharvetforthehungry.org.
As this year comes to a close, we pray that this Christmas and the coming New Year will be filled with “wonders of God’s love!” With our thanks and love,
Bill and Sharon
The hands of Jesus in the heart of the Blue Ridge
The Lord’s Harvest is a non-profit feeding ministry which began in 2011 in response to the immense need for food in Western North Carolina; specifically in Madison County, where 30% of children are food insecure. From 2011-2013, The Lord’s Harvest grew potatoes and cabbage and distributed the fresh produce to MANNA Food Bank located in Asheville, North Carolina (which then distributed the food to 17 counties throughout Western North Carolina) as well as to three distribution points in Madison County.
In 2013, Bill and Sharon made the decision to concentrate our efforts in Madison County which ranks second in overall hunger in the State of North Carolina (fifth in the nation).
After record breaking rainfall in 2013, Bill and Sharon prayed for discernment regarding the direction The Lord's Harvest should take in 2014. They made the prayerful decision to concentrate efforts on providing potatoes, pinto beans, and corn meal to the hungry year round (rather than only during the growing season). A grist mill was purchased and certified corn is being purchased from a milling company in North Carolina. Bill grinds the corn into meal; pinto beans and potatoes are purchased. Bill and Sharon package the cornmeal, pintos and potatoes and deliver them to fifteen distribution points in Madison, Buncombe and Yancey Counties in North Carolina and Washington County, Tennessee. The Lord’s Harvest coordinates with Beacon of Hope, Neighbors in Need, Hot Springs, and Spring Creek distribution points. Cornmeal, pintos and potatoes are also provided to the Madison County Department of Social Services and given out at a monthly Community food distribution sponsored by Mars Hill Baptist Church.
Through their personal donations to the ministry and with the help of the donations of friends and others who support this ministry, 1790 families are served each month. A total of 4100 pounds of potatoes, 1000 pounds of cornmeal and 1000 pounds of pinto beans are distributed monthly.