Bonnette follows mother-in-law’s example

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2003


&045; You won’t see an &uot;over 400 served&uot; sign above Feed the Hungry’s office on U.S. 84.

But that’s how many people are served every month by Vidalia First Assembly of God’s feeding ministry for the needy.

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And the nonprofit’s assistant director, Catherine Bonnette, is right there with the rest of its volunteers, filling boxes with food and handing them out to the cars that line up for blocks along the highway.

Distribution days are held the last Saturday of every month. But Bonnette also helps every Monday &045; and every day that she is not on duty as manager of the Vidalia McDonald’s &045; doing paperwork and filling 50-pound boxes of food.

Bonnette started volunteering with Feed the Hungry &045; through her mother-in-law, Executive Director Linda Bonnette &045; about four years ago, when the ministry was based out of the back of the church itself.

Now, the nonprofit has grown to take up two buildings of its own adjacent to the church.

&uot;I just thought it was something nice to do for people. I didn’t think it would ever get this big,&uot; said Catherine Bonnette, who became assistant director a few months ago. &uot;The Lord has blessed it &045; if He hadn’t, it never would have happened.&uot;

The ministry could always use more money or volunteers, but God always provides its needs, she added.

Divine help is certainly needed, considering how much the program has grown, with more recipients each month than Catherine Bonnette &045; by her own admission &045; ever expected.

&uot;There’s such a need,&uot; she said.

For those who are thinking about volunteering, Catherine Bonnette can say from experience they will be blessed.

&uot;I really think it is a blessing to work there,&uot; she said. &uot;You get to help people that actually appreciate your help. Š It just feels good to help someone.&uot;

Then she was off to check to see what type of weather she, her fellow volunteers and the inmate labor that helps on Saturdays can expect for distribution this Saturday.

&uot;It really doesn’t matter, though,&uot; she said. &uot;We’ll be out there, rain or shine.&uot;