General CBF

Baptists Fight Hunger—Distributing food with dignity in Eastern North Carolina

Welcome to our blog series—At the Table: Baptist Fight Hunger

Part 10 is by LaCount Anderson. LaCount and his wife Anna are CBF field personnel who serve in eastern North Carolina in rural Halifax County. Read more about the Andersons ministry here.

By LaCount Anderson

For months we began seeing our food distribution line forming daily.  This bi-weekly line began to grow until we noticed that there were people lining up daily with the line going down the street and around the building.

People of all ages—from 80 year-olds to young teenage mothers—would line up to receive whatever they could to feed their family. Our total monthly distribution of food grew from 50 boxes per month to an astounding 750 boxes.

To further add to the anxiety, we have a small staff of two people to administer this program. The hot temperatures and the extreme cold temperatures added to the frustration of those lining up.

Many were angry and defensive by the time their turn had come to receive a food box.   Our staff was becoming more and more discouraged as they dealt with the endless line of people desperate for food.

As we began to pray about our dilemma, I became aware of an idea that was working in Georgia. The Georgia Ave. Food Cooperative in Atlanta began in 1994 to aid people in need.  As I learned about their process of distributing food, it became apparent that this idea might work at our center in North Carolina.   

Chris and Leslie Harker - Immanuel Baptist Greenville Helping

Chris and Leslie Harker of Immanuel Baptist Church, Greenville, N.C.

We organized everyone into six different groups that we called Food Co-ops. Twice each month we meet together for fellowship, a short educational time and assemble the food boxes for all who attend the Food Co-op.

Rather than just our staff of two, we have involved the members of the Food Co-op for the administration and assembly of the boxes.

Members now pay a small $2.00 membership fee to belong to the group. The fee is collected at each meeting by one of the Co-op administrators. Coffee and doughnuts are served and friends gather for fellowship. They sit and talk and hear information that is informative and helpful.

food boxes

The training includes a short devotional and information relating to good health and nutrition. The members gladly pay the fee as it helps them feel a part of something; paying their own way. One lady gave testimony last week that this is the only time she sees other people and she looks forward to Co-op days.

No more lines in extreme temperatures.

No more embarrassment of being seen in the line.

Now, many smiling faces can be seen as each person prepares his/her own food box.

A feeling of belonging and a sense of dignity now happens as people in need receive the food.

See additional information below about the state of hunger in Halifax County, N.C., courtesy of Map the Meal Gap, a project of Feeding America. Check out statistics for your area with this interactive online tool.


Previous posts in this series:

Part 1 — At the Table: Baptists Fight HungerA CBFblog series

Part 2 — FBC Winston-Salem feeds bodies and souls with backpack ministry

Part 3 — South Carolina church models missional engagement with God’s Garden

Part 4 — New monastic activist Shane Claiborne spurs rural church to start community garden

Part 5 — How to be missional? Little Rock church hosts Farmers Market

Part 6 — Florida church strives to be presence of Christ and meet needs of their community

Part 7 — The Cleveland County Potato Project

Part 8 — Mosaic Community Garden as a place of acceptance for all

Part 9 — CBF partner Seeds of Hope reflects on long history of hunger ministry

Part 10 — Distributing food with dignity in Eastern North Carolina

5 thoughts on “Baptists Fight Hunger—Distributing food with dignity in Eastern North Carolina

  1. Pingback: Baptists Fight Hunger—40 years later, FBC Jonesboro still feeding thousands in Arkansas | Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Blog

  2. Pingback: At the Table: Baptists Fight Hunger—A CBFblog series (Part 1) | Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Blog

  3. Pingback: Baptists Fight Hunger—Westwood Baptist responds to empty shelves at local food pantry | Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Blog

  4. Pingback: Baptists Fight Hunger—Starting a conversation about nutrition, not just hunger | Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Blog

  5. Pingback: Richmond’s Huguenot Road Baptist focuses on being Christ’s presence in overlooked places | Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Blog

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