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Help is always available and it’s free
God's Food Pantry
God's Food Pantry
Hope Center
Hope Center
Store House Pantry
Storehouse Pantry
God's Grace
God's Grace
Lighthouse Christian Camp
Last Minute Toy Shop
Last Minute Toy Shop
Angel Tree
Angel Tree

 The majority of us need help with something at some point in our lives. We are more than fortunate to have multiple outlets of receiving help here in DeKalb County. Whether the need be food, clothing, furniture, school supplies or gifts for children at Christmas, the help is available. All non-profit and volunteer based, there is help for you right here at home.

No one should ever go hungry. There are multiple food ministries within our county.

God’s Food Pantry distributes boxes of food to the public on the first and third Friday of each month from 9am-noon. A food ministry started more than 15 years ago at the First United Methodist Church, quickly outgrew its space and moved to 107B East Bryant Street. Ever growing, it relocated to its current location at 430 East Broad Street in Smithville.

Completely run by volunteers, the pantry is supported by a multitude of churches, businesses, civic organizations and people in the community. Donations and money raised goes toward the purchasing of food from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. A pantry that began serving around 900 the first year, now serves thousands from DeKalb and surrounding counties.    

If someone is on a special diet they will purchase the foods they need. They also help with gas cards and food cards, as well as, assist with utilities, rent, and medications especially for the elderly who can’t afford to pay for it.  Contact for God’s Food Pantry is 615-597-4540.

Another large food ministry is Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s Storehouse. It is located at 201 South College Street, and is open to the public every Friday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Patrons are given two reusable shopping bags to fill, then bring those back each time they return. If someone needs assistance outside of pantry hours, they can call 615-597-4197 ext. 3, or contact them through their Facebook page. Twice a year the church holds a food drive-thru where they literally put boxes of food in your car. The next one is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2023.

Allen’s Chapel United Methodist Church, located at 1037 Coconut Ridge Road, has a bread ministry that is held every Saturday morning. And UCHRA Commodities distributes regularly. To contact UCHRA for help, 615-597-4504.

In addition to the several food ministries, there are “Blessing Boxes” located throughout the county, as well. You will find them at the DeKalb County Complex, on the city square in Alexandria and at the Liberty Community Center.

And there is even a Pet Food Pantry, located at 186 Transfer Station Road.

No one should ever lack clothing. The Hope Center and God’s Grace Ministry have you covered. Literally.

The Hope Ministry Center, a ministry of the Salem Baptist Association, relocated to Smithville in 2020. Conveniently located on Hwy. 70 at 517 West Broad, a network of Southern Baptist churches supply clothing, used appliances, furniture, toys and some household items to families or individuals in need. They receive donations from the public on Thursdays from 9 a.m. until noon, and are open on Friday 9am until noon. Their goal is to show the love of Jesus Christ to everyone who comes through their door.

Two local ladies began a clothing ministry, having held the first free-shopping day just a couple of weeks ago, called God’s Grace Ministries. Alisha Chapman and Whitney England, began accepting donations of clothing for the entire family and gently used toys a few months ago after being led by God to help those in need. The community was more than gracious to support the drive, filling both ladies houses to the brim. They have been so blessed, they now are filling a boat storage unit. And, they are now accepting donations of furniture to be able to help those who may tragically lose their belongings in house fires. To help the community even more, they have a back to school give-away planned, where the public will not only be able to come and get free clothing for the entire family, but also school supplies for students. The back-to-school event is scheduled to be held Saturday, July 22, 2023 Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian gymnasium.

They are gladly accept donations of clothing, school supplies, personal hygiene items, as well as, monetary donations. Please contact Alisha Chapman at 615-318-6250 or Whitney Lester at 615-308-8784. You may also contact them via their Facebook page.

Speaking of school supplies, the Back to School Celebration held in August helps tremendously with the needed items for children returning to school. Held on the town square for many years, Smithville First Baptist Church took the reins in 2022, holding the event inside the Life Enrichment Center. This year, date to be announced later, parents and children are encouraged to attend the event for free school supplies, fun games, and more. With it now being held inside, the weather does not create an issue with the event.

Possibly one of the hardest times of the year for families is during the holiday season. Trying to make ends meet, there’s the added cost of Christmas gifts for the children.  But, there are gift ministries to help ease the burden.

The Angel Tree, headed by Laura Stone, helped over 300 families just last year. It has assisted the community for more than 28 years. An enrollment time is held where parents can sign up for assistance with items for their children. Each child’s “Angel” is hung on Christmas trees, at banks and businesses, containing their age, clothing sizes, and toys and items they wish for at Christmas. Individuals chooses an “Angel” to shop and buy for, then gifts are distributed prior to Christmas. Enrollment for this year will be announced in the late fall.

Another long-time ministry is Lighthouse Christian Camp. A non-profit organization and faith ministry dedicated to sharing God's love and His Word with needy children has many ministries held throughout the year servicing hundreds throughout Tennessee. They routinely help non-campers with Christmas gifts each year all the way up until Christmas. To learn more visit

DeKalb Emergency Services Association (DESA) and many volunteers come together at the holidays to prepare and deliver hundreds of meals to the needy and underserved throughout the county at Thanksgiving and Christmas. To be added to their list to receive the meals contact them at 615-390-0297 or 615-712-4286 

A new ministry in DeKalb County, beginning this December, is the Last Minute Toy Shop. This free shopping day will assist parents and grandparents, in need, with toys and gifts for their children/grandchildren at Christmas. The date is set for Dec. 16, 2023, and will be held the DeKalb County Complex. Another God-lead endeavor, Angie Meadows, along with a handful of other volunteers, put the ball into motion in January. Donations of gift wrap, gift bags along with toys began coming in from gracious members of the community. Its work is under the Extended Arms Ministry, the group will host fundraisers to help raise money to purchase toys and items needed, as the free shopping day is for children ages birth to 18 years old. The current fundraiser is “Egg My Yard” where candy filled plastic Easter eggs can be purchased and distributed in your yard the night before Easter. An upcoming golf scramble and all you can eat spaghetti dinner is also in the planning stages, as well as, other various fundraisers. Toy drives will be held by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and the Alexandria Police Department, along with the annual Festival of Trees event. Like the Angel Tree project, an application will be required. A date for registration will be announced in the late fall. For more information about the Last Minute Toy Shop and its events, contact Angie Meadows 615-464-5056.

Each also has a Facebook page where they can be contacted.

Not one of these organizations is government funded, but all run by volunteers who want to spread the goodness of God. So do know that help is out there for you, and it is free.