My wife and I have run a local food bank for over 20 years. We are both 80 years old and I’m on oxygen, but the Lord hasn’t told us to stop, so we just keep going. The Love In Action food bank is not just about the food; it’s really about showing and spreading the love of Jesus. It’s become a pretty big operation that is all a labor of love since no one takes a dime.
Our food bank helps people going through a difficult stretch in their lives—someone that lost a job or came down with an illness. It takes anywhere from 40-50 volunteers to run this food bank. We distribute food one Saturday every month to about 75 families. We give them each about $500 in food.
But the main reason we do this is to make sure those families are exposed to the Gospel. We give them a daily devotion magazine and a special Gospel message every month that my wife types up. We are made up of volunteers from four different local churches. These churches supply the financial help needed to purchase some of the food.
The people receiving our food have to be “qualified” by one of these churches. If the church knows they’ve experienced a temporary financial setback, they receive a card that makes them eligible to receive our groceries for several months. They simply drive up with that card, and a couple of our volunteers load bags of food into their car. We have 10 freezers, 3 coolers and a number of huge shelves, all of which has been donated to our ministry. We get our food from several sources: we buy about 5,000 pounds of food each month from the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and the Associated Grocers; we also get a couple truckloads of food from the Christian Service Mission. The local Walmart and Publix stores quick freeze several tons of meat that is approaching an expiration date, allowing us to store it in our freezers until distribution day. We even have a laptop that carefully monitors the daily temperature of each freezer so we can show the FDA that we’re compliant.
The food bank is a blessing to all of us that are part of it, and a wonderful way to show the love of Jesus to so many families in need in our community.