HENRICO, Va. -- Food insecurity has risen significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic, and a church in eastern Henrico is stepping up to help those in need put meals on their table.
Real Life Ministries Church of God in Christ will hand out around 3,000 boxes of food -- mostly fresh fruits, vegetables and meat -- on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The event is being held at the intersection of Azalea Avenue and Henrico Turnpike, right down the street from Henrico High School.
"There's no questions asked," said pastor, Stephen Towns. "We do it as a drive thru, and we adhere to all COVID protocols, so people do not need to get out of their cars."
The drive-thru event is part of a government sponsored program, and Real Life Ministries was selected as the Richmond area representative.
Towns said people have come from as far north as Caroline County and as far south as Emporia because the need is so great.
“We see this work has been crucial, especially in these times we understand that people are suffering, even people who typically would not be in need previously before this pandemic, have found themselves out of a job or have found themselves in a position with unemployment and other things where that is barely meeting their financial needs," said Towns. "So this food, this additional food has really been a blessing."
The church has put on the weekly drive-thru every week since August, and Towns said they've given out over 70,000 pounds of food every Saturday.
"We just want to be a blessing where they have one less thing to worry about," said Towns. "Again, you know, some other programs may require them to qualify or fill out paperwork. We don't ask anybody at all. If they're in the line, there's a need for this food."
The church is partnering with numerous ministries to put on the weekly drive-thru, and they are always in need of volunteers.
If you’d like to help out and volunteer, the church asks that you show up around 7:30 am, and they ask that you follow safety precautions, like wearing a mask and gloves.