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How churches are feeding thousands of families in need: 'It's a blessing'

"All you have to do is pull up. No questions asked."
Posted at 8:19 AM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 08:19:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Filling the hunger gap in communities across the Commonwealth. Churches from Central Virginia, Tidewater, the Northern Neck, and beyond are stepping in to keep food on the table for families.

It’s part of the Farmers to Families Food Box program. The USDA has purchased roughly $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meats from American producers.

Goods are then distributed into family-size boxes given away by select nonprofits, food banks, and faith-based organizations. So far, more than 61 million boxes have been given away.

Churches like St. Paul’s Baptist are hosting weekly drive-thru, contactless food giveaways.

“We are trying to meet needs where we can. When the food program increased and the giving became bigger we are trying to get as much as we can so we can bless as many people as possible,” Greta Randolph, Directional Leader of Outreach at Saint Paul's Baptist Church, said.

Kelisha Johnson, a member of New Monrovia Baptist Church is helping her Westmoreland County church gear up for its weekly distribution starting on August 22.

“I think it’s awesome. In an environment and time like this, it’s a blessing to be part of something that the community needs. I’m excited about it,” Johnson said.

She said their food boxes will be available to anyone in the county who wants one. The goal is to connect with as many churches in that community as possible, share the food with their members, and let the community know during this pandemic, we’re all in this together.

“Once we set the example, hopefully, people will come on board and realize that it is important to help our brother or our sister that may or may not look like us or live near us. It goes beyond that. I was always told we are blessed so we should be a blessing to others,” Johnson added.

Upcoming food drives include:

Friday, August 14 at St. Paul’s Baptist Church from 5 p.m. -7 p.m. on Creighton Road in Henrico.

Real Life Ministries will host a food drive on August 15 at Noon at 5103 Thrush Lane.

In the Northern Neck, families can pick up free food on August 22 from Noon to 3 p.m. at New Monrovia Baptist Church in Colonial Beach.

A similar drive-thru food giveaway will also be held at Union Baptist Church in Williamsburg on August 29 at 10 a.m.

Every Wednesday at 4 p.m., there’s also a food drive hosted by Higher Way Ministries on Virginia Avenue in Petersburg.

All volunteers will be practicing social distancing and wearing masks during the drive-thru events.

Cars will pull in, drivers will pop their trunks, and the volunteers will put the free box of food in the truck without making contact with the driver.

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