Column: Church to begin monthly Food Drive

Published 3:43 pm Thursday, July 6, 2023

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church will distribute free bags of grocery items the fourth Saturday of every month, from 8-10 a.m. The food distribution is part of “Feeding Hope,” a new ministry the church will use to help stamp out hunger and eliminate food insecurities within central Alabama.

“There is a lot of economic uncertainty with inflation right now,” said Pastor Travis Marler. “Some people are scared and worried that things will get worse. We want to help with that and help starts at home.”

The ministry name “Feeding Hope” has a double meaning for the church.

“’Feeding Hope’- with the idea being that you are not alone with what you are going through,” said Marler. “We are going to help feed you, but also there is the spiritual aspect of hope. We want every person who comes here to be part of the church. You do not have to go to church here to receive food, but you are certainly welcome to be part of the church. Absolutely everyone is welcome regardless of past or current circumstance. Jesus Christ still loves you and we welcome them.”

The first free food distribution will begin July 22, and will follow every fourth Saturday of the month.

Participants will line up in the church parking lot, where they will be given a form to complete in their car. Pleasant Hill Baptist Church is partnering with the Montgomery Area Food Bank which requires a form from each food recipient. No identification or verification is necessary. 30-40 pounds of mixed grocery items will then be given to each car. Items will include canned and dried goods, frozen items and meat. Bread and fresh produce will not be initially given in the first few months of the ministry starting.

“We need to have an idea of about how many people are going to come and then we will start to introduce bread and vegetables,” said Marler. “Since those items are perishable we don’t want to have a lot of those items left over and see them waste, but in the coming months we will add them.”

Marler, who became pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist in January, said that this is the first time in the church’s history to form such a ministry.

“We are hoping for a big turn out and we hope to see the ministry grow,” said Marler. “We hope to reach the community. Feeding Hope is for Jemison’s local community but also for anyone outside of the area who needs it.”

In addition, Pleasant Hill Baptist is growing and looking for a pianist, which is a paid position.

For more information, contact Pastor Travis Marler at (205) 955-0396. Pleasant Hill Baptist is located at 1561 County Road 52, Jemison.