More than 1,000 families were the beneficiaries of food courtesy of the annual Help the Hungry outreach ministry Saturday at Liberty Park.
Bill Bowman, the New Life Church and Ministries pastor who leads the event, said the food distribution went smoothly and efficiently, with the provisions distributed in less than two hours.
“There were no incidents or problems,” said Bowman. He said there were several “salvations and healings.”
Three tractor trailer loads of food were distributed, Bowman said, including fresh produce, frozen foods, meats, bread, canned foods and various drinks.
A ministry program began at 3 p.m., and anyone coming to receive food was required to attend the service to get a ticket for the food line.
About 30 wheelbarrows were on hand to help transport the distributed food to vehicles, which helped speed the event, said Bowman.
Although the forecast called for rain and thunderstorms, only some sprinkles materialized.
“Just enough to cool us off,” said Bowman, who said he prayed for the forecast to be wrong.
“We’ve never had a rain issue in eight years,” he said, citing one year when it stormed and poured rain in other parts of the Hillsboro area except Liberty Park.
Bowman thanked “a lot of volunteers and churches” that helped with Saturday’s event.
Bowman thanked businesses and organizations that helped in various ways, including Merchants National Bank, Dr. Lesia Langston, Rockhold Brown Bank, Walmart, Community Markets, Walgreens, Kroger, Hope and Encouragement for Humanity out of Michigan, and Master Provisions out of Kentucky.
Bowman also thanked Terry Collins of Hillsboro Tool Rental for providing lights needed later in the day for cleanup, Five Point Implements for providing tractors and gators, and the Paint Creek Joint EMT/Fire District for providing an EMT unit onsite.
“It was just wonderful,” Bowman said, adding that the event will continue each year “until the Lord says not to do it anymore.”
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.