PETERSBURG, Va. -- Cars line up outside St. Paul's Baptist Church in Petersburg hours before food distribution time. The church is the site of a food bank for community members who need a little extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It tells me, that the need is great here in Petersburg Virginia, the need is really, really great," Rev. Constance Holleman said. "It's definitely biblical, but it's also personal to me."
Holleman said growing up, there were times when her family went without food. Now she is one of the people helping others in need.
"I find it robbery if I didn't come out here and give back because somebody gave back to me as well," she said.
Every other month, volunteers arrive at St. Paul's ready to lend a hand and fill a need.
"You can see the amount of people that are in need by them driving through, picking up the food.," Annette Smith-Lee, City Council Ward 6, said.
"I really do love it," Kempis Brown, with St. Paul's Baptist Church, said. "We're giving back to the community, we're doing the things God called us to do."
Hours before start time, volunteers bag the food and supplies. Things like salads, meats, bread, and milk provided by Feed More and Healthy Heart Plus.
During the pandemic, numbers have doubled in terms of people seeking help.
"We were able to feed 498 families," Holleman said. "We were so grateful and thankful that we were here to assist them."