Reader Spotlight: Bringing the Savings to All Who Need It

reader spotlight

Today we’re going to hear from Peggy, who is sharing the story of how she and her husband started an unconventional food pantry through their church. Take it away, Peggy!

My husband read the book, "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, and was very impacted.  He wanted to do something to improve life for others.  He had been on several missions trips but he wanted to do something local.   James 1:27 tells us to take care of widows and orphans and this spurred an idea.

He got the idea to start a food pantry, but not the traditional type, through our church.  Rather than have people come to a central distribution center, his idea was to use the food as an outreach ministry.  It was set up where members of the church could take food to any friends, family, other church members, acquaintances, etc that were struggling financially.  They didn't have to come to us - We would come to them.  This all started during the worst part of our recent economic downturn so there were LOTS of people in need.  Many people don't qualify for any government assistance but still have a difficult time making ends meet.  Many times people either had too much pride to ask or thought others needed the food more so they didn't want to take the food away from others so they wouldn't ask.  But with this program, we thought we could help a population that wasn't receiving help.

Let me mention that I have been a couponer/stockpiler long before it was so prevalent.  (My son says I am cheap like Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob :) ).  So when my husband was developing the idea, he asked for my help.  He wanted me to buy the food for the pantry as cheaply as possible so we could serve the most people.

We went to the church body and asked for their help.  We asked for them to donate money, food, and coupons.  The response was amazing.  I promised everyone I would do my best to maximize every dollar donated.  (I had taught couponing classes and had a reputation as being quite frugal so they knew I would!)   I also had a spot in the church bulletin that told people what was on sale at Publix that week (thanks to's early sale postings) so they could buy food for the pantry cheaper, too.

By using couponing and smart shopping and through the generosity of church members, this food pantry has helped hundreds of families.  We helped people in the church, friends, friends of friends, co-workers, school children, people we met at the grocery store, anyone we knew that needed help.  Sometimes just the thought that someone cares for you makes life just a little easier.  Having a little extra food in your house doesn't hurt either.

Without the smart shopping techniques found on websites such as this one, we wouldn't have been able to do this.

Thanks for sharing your story, Peggy!

I can always use a few new volunteers for the Reader Spotlight – so please write in if you have a story to tell! Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @!


  1. Kira says

    What a wonderful idea! Thank you for reaching out to others with “a cup of cold water” Matthew 10:42. I am trying to start something similar at my church… maybe not a pantry at first, but I would love to help others at the church see how important it is to care for our own and others as a witness of Christ’s love… and how far every dollar can stretch when you use coupons. Your story is truly inspiring!

    Thanks I Heart Publix… we couldn’t do it without you!

  2. Faith says

    My father is a Baptist minister, and I remember as a young child our churches hosting “pounding parties”. This is where you bring food for someone in need. It was collected as we entered the church, and went home with a needy parishoner. It was a way to fill pantries of those who were struggling in our church family, and was truly a blessing to all. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. CJ Matt says

    Thanks soooo much for sharing your story! Thanks for sharing yourself, your time and your SKILLS (couponing) to help sooo very many people!! I LOVE IT!!
    Our Sunday School class uses coupons to buy feminine products for the ladies at our city rescue mission. We love to give with our coupon blessings!

  4. Kim says

    Thank you so much for your story. It’s nice to read stories about people helping others all the time and not just when it’s the holidays.

  5. Holly says

    Thanks so much for sharing this!!! This has been on my heart for about a year now. My husband and I have used our “extra” items to help families in need and we, too, would just take what we had to those families who we learned were struggling. I have been wanting to start something that we could use as a ministry and this is exactly what I needed to read, because I didn’t want it to be where they come out and get it, but where we could take it to them as a ministry!! I can not thank you enough for sharing. This was for me to see! God bless you and your family for following God’s Lead and being used to further His kingdom! You have blessed me with your words!

  6. Darlene says

    This is really great! Reminds me of our previous church that would bring in vegetables from their gardens to share with everyone. It was such a blessing! Thank you so much for sharing this…You have me thinking more about ways to help others in times of need, whether it be through a church or to bless those around us. :)

  7. Ann Templet says

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, Peggy! God Bless you and your wonderful family for all that you are doing. And thank you for reminding us what we all SHOULD be doing for others.

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