When Jason and Jenny Waltman first founded Grace Klein Community in 2010, they had no idea the organization would one day grow to provide food support to 10,000 people every week from 40 of 67 counties in Alabama. In 2020 alone, Grace Klein Community donated groceries valued at $2.1 million to 25,000 households.
What started out as a simple concept of sharing, “Your plenty meeting my need and my plenty meeting yours,” soon became an effective way to share the love of Christ through food and resources.
“Our goal is to meet people where they are, by meeting tangible needs, in hopes of leading them to Jesus,” said Jason. “Every day we desire to show people who Jesus is and remind people they are loved and that they are valuable.”
As graduates of Samford University’s human development and family science program in Orlean Beeson School of Education, the Waltmans feel prepared to meet people in their unique situations and provide a holistic response according to their needs.
Grace Klein Community operates with about 400 volunteers each week, many of whom have received services from the organization. Not only are they able to build relationships and pray for each person who comes through the drive-thru, they also invest in high school and college students, adults re-entering the workforce, and court-mandated community service requirements to develop and improve job readiness. While 80% of the organization’s aid is food support, they also supply diapers, school supplies and Christmas gifts to financially insecure families.
Also based on the idea of sharing is a Facebook platform Grace Klein Community maintains called Acts 4:32 where people can share anything from job leads and furniture to prayer requests and encouragement.
The Waltmans believe they were given the necessary foundation at Samford to equip them to give back to the community generously.
“If we’re going to be successful as a city then we have to be able to teach people how to live openhanded lives where we all give our lives away in whatever capacity and in whatever giftings we have,” said Jenny. “Samford equips all of us to identify our unique skills and abilities and thrive in our giftings as each of us have so much to give to the world.”
To become involved or view the locations of the donation sites, please visit gracekleincommunity.com.