Staunton artist using talents to help feed the hungry

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - In Staunton, a local artist is using his talents to help his church feed the hungry.

Jim Harris is a retired pastor with an art degree from JMU who is hoping his paintings can help make a difference in his community.

Harris has created six paintings that he is auctioning off with all proceeds from the sales going to Central United Methodist’s GO Pantry program, which will deliver food to people in need throughout the community.

The church is partnering with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to deliver food from the church’s semi-weekly food pantry to those in need who have a difficult time getting to and from the church.

As part of the project, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank awarded the church with a grant for a refrigerated van to transport the food, but they won’t be able to get it until the spring due to the on-going computer chip shortage in the automobile industry.

Volunteers will use their own cars for GO Pantry until the van is acquired.

The church said the number of people in need of food in the Staunton area has increased significantly over the course of the pandemic.

“Some of these people have a really hard time getting there. They have to pull a wagon or a suitcase behind them to carry everything, and it’s quite heavy going back up the hills, you know how the hills are in Staunton,” said Harris. Harris adds that many of those in need of the GO Pantry are elderly.

As GO Pantry prepares to kick-off in the fall, Harris hopes his paintings will make an impact in people’s lives.

“My biggest hope is that lives will be somehow changed or helped in someway,” said Harris. “That people who buy the paintings will be blessed by them and the message that the hymn illustration brings to them, would bring comfort and encouragement, and that people who are fed by the food also would have that.”

Five of Harris’s six paintings up for auction depict visualizations of Hymns. You can bid on any of the paintings here and learn more about GO Pantry and how you can help here.

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