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Big Country EC News

Scurry County Ministerial Alliance: A Unity
of Churches and Volunteers Helping Others

Volunteers give back to support local families

Arthur Ashe once said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

At the corner of 27th Street and Avenue K in Snyder, a simple gray metal building is a living testament to Ashe’s advice.

The Scurry County Ministerial Alliance comprises various church denominations and volunteers who have banded together to support Scurry County families. Long active in their communities, these hometown missionaries have responded to the growing needs of county residents through several initiatives: a food cupboard; a free store for household, clothing and hygiene goods; and a utility assistance ministry.

From left, Bianca Grice, Natalie Raybal, Ben Reid and David Pruitt.

From left, Pat Pylant, Rhonda Thomas, Gary Poe and Bianca Grice.

Each operates in separate a location, and as each location accumulated more inventory to meet growing needs, they all ran short on space. For years, SCMA searched for properties with sufficient space but couldn’t find the right fit.

In 2019, during a discussion about finding a new building to house the food cupboard, the group considered becoming a registered nonprofit and expanding SCMA’s ministries.

“As we began to dream of this new building, several ideas were presented to us,” said Bianca Grice, Scurry County welfare director. “From 2019 to 2021, the idea to consolidate the free store and start the community kitchen became a reality. We wanted to make sure that anyone who needed a good, hot meal could receive one, no questions asked, which is why we sought to include the community kitchen as well.”

The group started where they were, launching a fundraising campaign for the project. The cost of the facility was $197,000, and all funding was raised solely through community donations. A portion of these funds were donated by Operation Round Up, Big Country Electric Cooperative’s charitable trust supported by co-op members who voluntarily round up their electric bills to the nearest dollar. SCMA unveiled the fruits of their efforts with a grand opening celebration May 19, offering tours of the facility.

“We received donations from several area churches and volunteers from Colonial Hill, First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Calvary, Trinity United Methodist, Snyder First Assembly, First Baptist Church, His Joy Ministries, Avenue D Baptist Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and several others,” said Grice. “We have seen great unity within the congregations over the years.

Commercial appliances in SCMA’s community kitchen.

The food cupboard.

“Peter wrote, ‘Seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence’ (2 Peter 1:3), that it is that we may help others experience and understand all that is available to them and the resource He has given us, His Word.”

The group seeks to accomplish this through the following avenues:

  • Food cupboard
  • Community kitchen: a free hot meal, no questions asked.
  • Utility ministry: assistance with utility bills; recipients must meet requirements to be eligible.
  • Emergency shelter
  • Free store
  • For children: diapers, wipes, formula, bottles and other essentials.
  • For adults: feminine hygiene products, body care, laundry and dish soap, incontinence products, medical equipment, senior citizen assistance, and other assistive essentials.
  • For the home: blankets, heaters, cleaning supplies, electronic accessories and other household essentials.

To qualify for assistance from the food cupboard, USDA guidelines must be followed to stay in compliance with South Plains Food Bank; however, there are no income requirements for the community kitchen or the free store.

To contribute to SCMA’s ongoing efforts, donations may be mailed to Scurry County Ministerial Alliance, P.O. Box 416, Snyder, TX 79550. Be sure to include the ministry to be supported (food cupboard, community kitchen, utility ministry, emergency shelter or free store) in the memo. In-kind donations are also received at 2701 Avenue K during hours of operation, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Thursdays. Volunteers and those seeking SCMA services may contact Natalie Raybal at nat@firstumcsnyder.com or Bianca Grice at countywelfare@co.scurry.tx.us.

The SCMA building that houses all services.

Avenue K and 27th Street in Snyder.