Local organization hosts mobile pantry, feeds hundreds

Published 11:23 am Monday, December 5, 2016

Volunteers load groceries into the cars at the Son Light Center on Dec. 5.

Volunteers load groceries into the cars at the Son Light Center on Dec. 5.


JEMISON – The Son Light Center gave out groceries to hundreds of people on Dec. 5 at its monthly Montgomery Area Food Bank mobile pantry.

Cars circled the block behind the Jemison Fire Department and flowed out the other end of the parking lot along Main Street. They were all in line to receive about 30 pounds of groceries per car, according to Betty Oldroyd, director of the Son Light Center.

Oldroyd and a host of volunteers were out in the rain distributing groceries to people in need. Cars passed through an assembly line where the volunteers would hand groceries into the trunks and through the open windows. After a car had its groceries, it rolled right back onto the road.

Due to the number of people, there was a line on each side of the food pallets. Oldroyd estimated more than 300 people would come through the line by the end of the day.

The success of the mobile pantry shows the growth the Son Light Center has had since its humble beginning.

“I started out serving 10 families and it’s just grown from that … we’re feeding around 2,500 a month,” Oldroyd said.

Montgomery Area Food Bank, Feed the Children, Feed America First, Merchants Foodservice and Bud’s Best all give food to the center, according to Oldroyd.

The food is distributed in the mobile pantry on the first Monday of each month, as well as on every Saturday at the Son Light Center. The Son Light Center also visits nursing homes, homes in the housing authority complex and apartment complexes in Clanton with high levels of need on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

The second and fourth Saturdays of each month, the center distributes food in Maplesville. During the week, food is distributed in Dallas, Wilcox and Perry Counties, according to Oldroyd.

Son Light Center’s goals are to keep feeding to poor and sharing a Christian message with people.

“It’s Christ-centered. We try to feed them, and it’ll only last so long, but the Word is what will last,” Oldroyd said.

The Son Light Center needs bigger space, sponsors and volunteers. Oldroyd has considered renting trailers for the food, and hopes to have a warehouse one day.

Those interested in volunteering or sponsorship can call 205-287-1703 or email sonlightcenteroutreach@gmail.com.