Cars were already lined up at 8:30 a.m. Saturday when Gwen Talley, a member of Land of Promise in Spotsylvania, arrived at the church to help distribute free boxes of fresh produce to the community.
“There are a lot of people in need right now,” said Talley. “There’s a lot of unpredictability.”
By 10 a.m., volunteers from the congregation, as well as nurses from Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, students from Germanna Community College and members of other churches, were grooving to hip-hop, funk and soul music while loading up trunk after trunk with boxes of fruits and vegetables.
Land of Promise has partnered with World Vision, a faith-based nonprofit that assists in communities affected by disaster around the world, to distribute the boxes every Saturday in August, from 10 a.m. to noon.
According to World Vision’s website, the organization has 4.6 million people worldwide with food assistance since the pandemic struck in March.
Earlier last week, World Vision delivered 1,000 boxes filled with apples, cabbages, carrots, honeydew, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and yams to the church.
The produce was donated at no cost to the church, which in return provided the man- and woman-power to distribute them.
On Saturday, the volunteers were giving at least two boxes to each vehicle that passed through—and more if requested.
Other local churches and organizations such as Empowerhouse, the local domestic violence shelter, collected boxes for their members and clients as well.
No documentation or proof of need is required, but masks are a must.
“We’re just trying to be a blessing to the community, whether you’re working or unemployed, middle class or working class,” Land of Promise’s pastor and founder James King said. “We’re just trying to show the community that we’re here and that having compassion means doing something.”
King said this is the first large-scale food distribution operation the church has undertaken. Earlier in the pandemic, the congregation delivered food to senior citizens and boxed lunches to hospital staff, among other ministries.
Church administrator Rowevina Herring they distributed 800 boxes last Saturday and that repeat customers returned for more this week.
“People have been so grateful,” she said.
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