An estimated 70,000 to 80,000 pounds of food will be given away Sept. 16 in Hillsboro when New Life Church and Ministries holds its 10th annual Help the Hungry Outreach.
The event has been moved to the church location at 6101 SR 247, just south of Hillsboro, for the first time in nine years. It was held at the church the first year and at Liberty Park in Hillsboro the past eight years.
“The big reason we moved it back is that we do drive through food delivery at the church every week and a lot of elderly and handicapped people just can’t get out and walk through the line at the park, so in the past we’ve lost a few that really need to be fed,” said Bill Bowman,” the pastor at New Life Church and Ministries who organizes the Help the Hungry Outreach. “This way we can serve more people and serve them better.”
Bowman said his volunteers can serve about 500 families in two hours. He said all people will need to do is drive through the church campus and food will be placed in their vehicle.
The entrance to the church campus will not be open until 10 a.m. while volunteers work to prepare everything. The food giveaway will begin at 1 p.m. In between, there will be music, concessions and a message of hope from evangelist C.J. Gray, who Bowman said has been a friend for about 30 years.
Bowman said he expects to serve between 900 and 1,000 families.
There are no income or residency guidelines required to receive food. But, those receiving food are asked to fill out a short form, Bowman said, so he knows how many people are served and where they are from.
Exactly how much food each family receives will depend on how much food Bowman and his volunteers have available at the time. But he said they will receive things like meat, bread, bread products, salad, drinks, vegetables, fruit, baby food, mayonnaise, sauces, snacks and even some dry goods.
“They’ll get a lot of food. The last two years we used wheelbarrows and they all got a wheelbarrow full,” Bowman said.
Delivering food to those in need is not new to the church and its volunteers. Bowman said the church gives food to about 500 families from five counties every Friday, 52 weeks a year. They also deliver food to 30 to 35 other food pantries every week.
“It’s the call of God to feed the hungry and cloth the naked,” Bowman said. “Anybody that’s sick and needs a prayer, tell them to come on out and the Lord will heal them.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.