The Care Center has been serving the Cookeville community since 1991. It got its start when church member Jim Phillips was moved by conference speaker Adrian Rogers’ words, “If you are not doing something to feed the hungry, you are not doing God’s work.” Thus, with support from five churches – Stephens Street, First Baptist, Poplar Grove, Washington Avenue and The River Community – The Care Center received the financial support and love offerings of food and clothing needed to open its doors.
Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from Noon – 2 p.m., an average of 435 families apply for food, giving The Care Center the opportunity to touch the lives of approximately 1,400 individuals a month. Sixty-five team members volunteer as counselors, office workers, clothing room assistants, and pantry food handlers. However, with so many areas of service available, more volunteers are always needed. Mary Ellen Lewis says, “The Care Center is a program that feeds the body and soul. With other resources we share with them, people leave feeling empowered.”
Recently, the center was blessed with a walk-in cooler and can now gladly accept food donations requiring refrigeration. Up next, The Care Center team is waiting on the Lord to direct them on how to start a Back-to -School Program.
“We are blessed everyday that we open our doors! I can’t comprehend just why God choose me to be the one to lead this wonderful ministry of His,” says Director Connie Billbe. “I never would’ve guessed that I would ever be so blessed to serve my God in this way.”
The Care Center has been a partner of Second Harvest for over twenty years. We are grateful to work with such wonderful partners toward our mission of feeding hungry people and working to solve hunger issues in our community.