Grace and Mercy Food Pantry needs help to continue helping the needy

Barbara and Ed Grant, founders of the Grace and Mercy Food Pantry, are asking the community for help with transportation.


ST. PETERSBURG — Barbara Grant said she knew God had a plan for her husband’s life. Although he suffered for decades from alcohol abuse, she knew the change in him would come all in God’s time.

And that day did come when Ed Grant, sick, scared, and uncertain, asked God to spare his life.

“I told God I would change,” Ed Grant said. “I told him I would stop drinking, that I was ready to do His will.”


As he began to recover, Barbara Grant could see the change in her husband. While they were both members of the Church of Christ in Tampa, her husband had begun spending more time with a minister from the denomination in St. Petersburg – a minister he had known since childhood.

“He invited me to ride with him to Bradenton,” Ed Grant recalled. “We visited a church where they were organizing a food drive, and he would pick up food for members of his congregation.”

After a few visits, Ed Grant began asking questions, wondering what it would take to start a food pantry in the Tampa Bay area. He knew it wouldn’t be easy. But he said he also knew that if it were what God wanted him to do with his life, things would somehow fall into place.

His first hurdle was finding a facility to house donations and serve as the distribution center. Within no time, that hurdle was cleared when his friend, the minister at the Pinecrest Park Church of Christ, offered to provide the needed space.

The Grace and Mercy Food Pantry is located at the Pinecrest Park Church of Christ, 301 38th St. N, in St. Pete.

The Grants decided to call it the Grace and Mercy Food Pantry, and Ed began to work on the next major hurdle, finding sources of food donations for the families the pantry would serve.

Getting support from his wife was never a concern. Barbara Grant knew this was her husband’s calling, and she was all in, helping him put a proposal together to present to local groceries stores for donations.

There was a lot to do — paperwork to become an official 501c3, stores to convince to take a chance on a new organization, and the biggest partnership to secure – working with Feeding Tampa Bay.

But they were up to the challenge because Barbara Grant knew God was in complete control.

“We just give all the glory to God,” she said. “The way the pantry is, we know that God has his hand in it. It is what God wants him to do.”

Now, four years into their mission, they are depending on God to answer their prayers once more and meet their need for transportation to continue picking up nearly 15,000 pounds of food each week.

“We’ve been using our personal vehicle,” Ed Grant said. “And now it needs repair.”

Without reliable transportation, the duo is forced to rely on friends to try and make it on time to pick up each week from two local grocery stores and an order from Feeding Tampa Bay.

The husband-and-wife team is doing whatever they can because nearly 500 people each week depend on the Grace and Mercy Food Pantry for food.

The Grants said the opportunity to serve has been an honor. When they sometimes feel discouraged as they continue looking for reliable transportation — a box truck or cargo van would be a big blessing — the couple thinks back to some of the families they’ve been able to help.

Like the little boy who came each week with his mom, especially during the pandemic, who was so grateful he cried.

“His mother told us we would never know just how much we had done for her,” he said.

Then there was the woman who walked for blocks looking for a pantry and stumbled upon them on a day they weren’t open. She had two young children to feed and no money. She was praying for a miracle.

“We were up there doing a bit of work,” Barbara Grant said. “When she showed up, we all knew God had led her there. We loaded her up with what she needed. “

The Grace and Mercy Food Pantry is open to the public every Friday from 3-5 p.m. and is located at the Pinecrest Park Church of Christ, 301 38th St. N, in St. Pete.

For more information on the Grace and Mercy Food Pantry or to donate to the cause, visit or call 727-486-1768.

2 Replies to “Grace and Mercy Food Pantry needs help to continue helping the needy”

  1. Henry says:

    Their the best nice respectful people they help the community a lot thank God for them lwts keep it going

  2. Cynthia Glatzel says:

    Barb and Ed are devoted to helping people. I think they are amazing. The food we get include fresh fruit and vegetables,and always a smile. They’re a blessing to all of us.

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