Mary Greenwood, Founder of Mother's Pantry
August 27, 2020
This week's Senior Star is Inkster resident Mary Greenwood. Greenwood was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, but her family moved to Inkster when she was very young. She had three siblings; one sister and two brothers, but her sister and one brother have passed away. Greenwood graduated from Roosevelt High School, now better known as Robichaud High School. She recalls having parties with her friends, skating, playing baseball and singing in the school choir.
Now widowed, Greenwood keeps herself busy at a youthful 81 years old. She is a member of Christ Temple City of Refuge Church, and nearly 15 years ago, she established a food pantry in the church's basement. The church was later able to purchase the building next door and Mother's Pantry was born. She spends three days a week occupying herself at the pantry and says such a service is needed in the community. "I get a chance to inter-mingle with people," she says. The pantry is a client-choice model, which allows clients to choose their own food as if they were shopping at a grocery store. "That's something I always wanted," she says. "It's just so wonderful to see the people that are able to go around and choose their own, what they would like to cook." For now, however, with pandemic-related precautions in place, food pantry pick up is drive-up only.
Greenwood and her husband were blessed with 14 children. She says having so many children gave her plenty of opportunities to serve as a parent volunteer in the schools. She also enjoys 37 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Greenwood worked 18 years for Advance Care, a home for disabled individuals. She retired from that job in order to care for her aging in-laws. She also enjoys crocheting, macramé, and is also a proficient seamstress. She says she makes clothing for her children and grandchildren, even prom dresses. She also enjoys Christian music, Christian television shows and watching Family Feud.
Greenwood recalls her grandmother, who raised her and her siblings, inspiring her to always stay strong. She finds inspiration in people, she says, including her brother, who serves as a church bishop, and Martin Luther King. She recalls a teacher once telling her she could do anything she set her mind to. "That was something that I always remembered," she says. "That whatever you set your mind to, and you trust in God and ask God for strength, you can do it. I believe that even today." It is a message she says she shares with her children and grandchildren.
Greenwood will continue her work at Mother's Pantry. She enjoys serving the community and says the organization has so many wonderful volunteers. She adds, "God laid it on my heart, this is what I wanted to do, I'm still doing it, and I expect to do it as long as God gives me strength." To find out more about Mother's Pantry go to http://www.operationrefuge.org/mothers-pantry/.