The rate of poverty in Collin County, while lower than state averages, is climbing faster than the skyrocketing population itself. This is also the case for homelessness and the need for transitional assistance. Simply put, the number of those needing a helping hand (well over 150,000) is more significant than most imagine and is greatly on the rise. This is where St. Andrew United Methodist Church stepped in. It began as a burden God placed on the heart of Sharon Hasley (wife of St. Andrew senior pastor, Robert Hasley) as she witnessed the effects of severe poverty in a local grocery store. With a heart to make a difference, she happened into a providential conversation with the North Texas Food Bank who illuminated a common desire to increase support efforts in Collin County.
In May 2009, the Seven Loaves Food Pantry opened to a single family on the St. Andrew campus. Despite small beginnings, this effort to help others as compelled by Christ's love began to snowball and has continually increased to the point that the organization as a whole now serves on average 1,000 families per month. It has grown into a program that not only pours out of the church, but is supported by local corporations, food service partners, and thousands of volunteers. As the sustenance needs of individual families in crisis began to be met, other needs became apparent.
In 2010, Joseph's Coat was added to provide clothing for families in need. The clothing program has been sustained largely through the church who provides clothing items that serve directly to meet the needs of struggling families. Since its inception, Joseph's Coat has continued to see growth.
A heart for helping families on a deeper level began to surface. This effort focused on serving women and their families who desired to break the cycle of poverty and was founded in 2010 as Project Hope. It began as a large scale mentoring program and adapted over time to become a more in-depth, life-transforming process.
Today, these three programs work in tandem under the banner of The Storehouse of Collin County.