Frequently Asked Questions
Low income individuals/families living in Wilson, Trousdale, Smith and DeKalb Counties residents are eligible.
As an approved distributor of USDA* commodities, we must adhere to their eligibility requirements. These fall into two categories:
- Families on public assistance (Must show proof of this)
- Food Stamps (SNAP)
- AFDC (Families First)
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- Public Housing resident
- LIHEAP (Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program)
- Families with income levels not in excess of the maximum percentage of the poverty level (Must know total household income)
- Social Security (including disability) recipients (most will fall under this level but some exceptions may occur)
- All others with incomes below the maximum percentage of the poverty level
Families may be approved for up to one (1) year at a time. Upon approval they will receive a Joseph’s Storehouse ID Card that they will bring each month after initial registration. If you lose the new picture ID card, you will be charged a $2 replacement fee to cover our costs.
NOTE: In order to promote fairness and serve as many families as possible, only one card is given per household and food pickups are restricted to once per month. The new computer system will flag any duplicate addresses or pickup dates within the same month, and as a result you may be turned down for food at that time if it is determined that your household has already received food for the month.
*USDA and Joseph's Storehouse Food Ministry are equal opportunity providers.
What to bring?
First time applicants must bring:
- One form of identification (picture ID, such as driver's license, military ID, etc.; if no picture ID, then two forms of other ID, such as social security card, Food Stamp card, Medicare card, Voter Registration card, or birth certificate)
- Proof of Address (utility bill or similar official mail or current lease). If your address is flagged as having multiple people at that address, you will be required to bring something from either the landlord or the post office showing that there are multiple dwellings at that same address (such as apartments A, B, C) if it isn't designated in the lease or utility bill.
- Proof of public assistance (food stamps-SNAP, families first, SSI, LIHEAP, public housing) or total household income.
Approved monthly recipients must bring their Joseph’s Storehouse Food Ministry card.
When is the monthly food distribution?
The monthly distribution is always held the last Saturday of each month 8:30-11:30 AM, with the exception of November and December when it is held the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also have a distribution for the elderly and disabled on the Thursday prior to that last Saturday, same time. Applicants must provide a doctor’s note showing they are disabled and can’t stand in the lines in order to be pre-approved to come on the Thursday.
What about emergency situations?
Individuals/families may come on Mon-Thurs 9-11:30 AM to receive One Time Only emergency food. This is for emergency situations. Monthly food recipients must come during the regular distribution times. If you receive emergency food during the month, you will have to wait until the following month to come to the regular distribution due to the once-per-month policy.
What types of donations are acceptable?
We welcome donations of unopened food, toiletry and household items. We have coolers and freezers to keep items fresh until the food distribution. We also welcome donations of refrigerators, freezers, storage bags, boxes, and similar items. In addition, we accept donations of toys, appliances, and other things a family in need could use, in new or very good condition. From time to time we have specific needs for which we send out a plea to the community. And of course we welcome cash contributions. It takes dollars to pay for the food, freight, and general overhead (utilities, supplies, etc.) in order to do all that we do.
Are diapers available?
Many low-income families are in need of diapers. While we may not always have diapers, when we do applicants may fill out a simple diaper request and show proof of a child (or children) in need of diapers. Either a birth certificate or Record of Live Birth from the hospital that shows the name and birth date of the child is required.
What about families outside of Wilson County?
Do you need volunteers?
We wouldn't be able to do what we do without our base of volunteer support. We need volunteers to help in the warehouse sorting, bagging and boxing food and other items. During the monthly giveaway days we need extra volunteers to help with everything from application registration to prayer/ministry counseling to loading the cars with the food. First time volunteers are usually assigned to help with the food distribution lines in the warehouse. Volunteer ministry counselors and registration table workers require some training first.
Are there any restrictions on volunteers?
Children ages 13-17 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult representative (the youth minister of a youth group, for instance). Children 12 and under are encouraged to come back when they are older. Volunteers working in the warehouse must wear appropriate closed-toed shoes and be physically able to lift the boxes full of food. We also ask that everyone dress modestly... nothing shorter than walking shorts for both men and women, and ladies, please wear tops with appropriate necklines. We do have a policy/procedure form for all volunteers. Feel free to contact us for more information.
Do I have to attend church services or pray?
We are not a church, nor are we directly affiliated with any specific church. We are an independent, faith-based 501(c)(3) ministry. We do, however, offer faith-based services during the monthly food distribution times for those who wish to attend while they are awaiting their turn to receive food. The services are non-denominational and are conducted by a variety of individuals and organizations throughout the community. The services may include basic preaching/teaching, music, drama, comedy, education, etc.* No one is required to attend the service in order to receive assistance; it is completely voluntary. We do find that most of our food recipients enjoy attending the services, but we do have some that choose not to participate, which is fine as well.
The same goes for prayer. It is completely voluntary, and no one is required to participate. We do offer to pray with anyone who comes through our doors that might want to do so. Almost everyone who comes for assistance also requests prayer. We are offering them hope and encouragement, and most people appreciate being shown the brotherly love that our faith teaches us to show our fellow man. We pray for whatever specific needs the person requests, typically in the areas of health, family and finances. If someone doesn't want prayer, that's his/her choice and does not affect his/her ability to receive assistance from us.
*If your church, ministry, or organization would like to take part in some of the services, please contact us about our Adopt-a-Month program.
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