Giving Plate Food Ministry Growing Exponentially

By Jennifer Taylor

Gary and Debi Kelso, members at Real Life Christian Church (Bend, OR), created The Giving Plate in 2010. After beginning with just a few cans of tuna and a few loaves of bread (really!), the food relief and outreach ministry now provides more than 2,200 local families with a 50-pound box of food every month. Each box is prepared specifically for each family with consideration for food allergies and dislikes.

“We have served the hungry and homeless for years,” say the Kelsos, who work full-time—without pay—for the organization. “We have a call in our hearts to serve in this way. We will treat each person who enters with dignity, compassion, and hospitality, offering physical
and spiritual food.”

In addition to the monthly food boxes, The Giving Plate also offers a “Grab and Go” area where people in need can get free bread, juice, fruit, and other items every day. The ministry also created a play area for kids to enjoy while adults receive the boxes, and every Saturday kids can pack box lunches from a selection of kid-friendly options.

In addition to Real Life, many other area churches, bakeries, grocery stores, and individual donors partner with The Giving Plate. Learn more and give at

—Jennifer Taylor

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