Faith-based outreach puts food on family tables

Sparta Mel Trotter mission gives 100 holiday dinners 

With Christian-based help all year around for those who struggle, help is perhaps especially appreciated during the holidays, when merriment and gift-giving is not on everyone’s agenda. At the Sparta outreach center and retail store operated by Mel Trotter Ministries, those who struggle financially this year were all smiles as they picked up a grocery cart full of dinner items, from a large turkey to the desserts and toppings.

Volunteers and recipients are happy to smile for the camera with a generous donation of family dinners for the holidays.

“It’s extremely helpful,” said one of the people waiting to load up the items. “I am a single mom and disabled.”

Another who was at the Sparta location prior to putting together the holiday meal, said she appreciated the help as well. “I am always donating items. Now I have had my hours cut at work and my husband’s hours were cut.” She said her job is cleaning houses, and people who have had to reduce their spending often stop that service. “I just learned today I lost a huge job. That’s going to hurt.”

Mel Trotter Ministries was founded in West Michigan in 1900 with the mission of helping restore faith and lives. On February 24, 1900, Mel Trotter and a group of community leaders opened a mission at 95 Canal Street in Grand Rapids. Since then, hundreds of thousands of men and women have found Jesus and restored their lives, thanks to the loving support they found at Mel Trotter Ministries.

The Mel Trotter store at 538 S. State Street in Sparta, open to the public, had a grand re-opening in November 2010. The store is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shoppers will find new and used items including clothing, housewares, sports equipment, books and more. Donations of gently used items are also appreciated.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.