The worship building was the piece completing the Calvary Church Mission Center.

For more than 50 years, Calvary Church has been serving the SouthShore community. In September, Calvary relocated to its new building that resides on the same property as its Angel’s Attic thrift store and Community Cupboard food pantry.

For 15 years, the Calvary Church Mission Center has been a work in progress. With plans to start construction of the main building in 2008, it had to put everything on hold after the market crashed.

“Angel’s Attic and Community Cupboard were the first things put on the property,” said Rob Rose, the associate pastor at Calvary. “Calvary wanted to show the community that we are a resource and open to everyone.”

With Calvary’s rising attendance, the completion of the new worship center was not a day too soon. The worship center is 20,000 sq. ft., and with its flexible seating, it can accommodate crowds as large as 850 people or be transformed into a recreational space. An entire wing of the building is dedicated to children and youth, including a special needs ministry.

Its food pantry, Community Cupboard, was first established in 1979 as a way to bless those who are less fortunate. To receive food, a person must show identification and proof of residency for any of the following cities: Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Sun City, Gibsonton, Parish, Wimauma or Balm.

Pastor Rose continued, “The money from the thrift store funds the Community Cupboard—it’s one of the largest food pantries in Hillsborough County. On Tuesdays, we have roughly 500 families who come and get food. This ministry is what Calvary is all about. We want to make a difference in the community and not just be an island on Sunday mornings.” Volunteers exclusively operate both Calvary’s Community Cupboard and Angel’s Attic. The food pantry is open from 8:30-11 a.m. every Tuesday.

Volunteers are needed throughout the week to distribute, lift heavy boxes and pick up donated food items. November is one of the busiest times for its food pantry as it distributes the necessary food items for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Its Angel’s Attic thrift store also needs volunteers. The store is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon.

To get involved or for more information, visit www.calvaryalive.org or call 645-1305. Calvary’s Mission Center is located at 1250 E. College Ave. in Ruskin.