Merchants Foodservice serves community at local ministry

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Merchants Foodservice staff visited Through the Grace of God Ministries on Dec. 19 to provide a hot meal on a dreary day.

“Clanton is a great community for us to do business in, and I think we have a responsibility to give back to the community when we can to be a good corporate citizen,” Woody Cheatham, Merchant’s Foodservice division president, said.

Volunteers served spaghetti and salad to community members that stopped by for lunch.

“We wanted something that’s good and hardy, but easy — that we can get done in a few hours,” Cheatham said.

Bro. Ralph Bingham, director of Through the Grace of God Ministries, said hosting meals for the community is a regular part of the ministry’s outreach.

“We are here to help the people in the community that are a little less fortunate and are in need of meals,” Bingham said.

Lunch is served on Wednesday through Friday. On Thursday and Friday, dinner is served from 5 to 6 p.m. A meal is also served after the Sunday morning worship service.

At each meal, Bingham makes attendees aware of the church’s worship service times.

“By feeding them it gives us a great opportunity to get them to come back for our church services,” Bingham said.

This is the second year that the employees have volunteered at the ministry, but support for helping them feed hungry people in Clanton is given year round. The company donates food that is still good, but cannot be sold, such as dented cans or items nearing the expiration date. Cheatham said the ministry comes to pick up palates of food each Thursday.

“They have been so gracious to us,” Bingham said of Merchants.