This Friday, volunteers will distribute at least 130,000 pounds of food at New Life Church and Ministries in Hillsboro as part of what pastor Bill Bowman said is still “the largest one-day food giveaway in southern Ohio.”
The 13th annual Help the Hungry event will be held on Friday, Sept. 18 at New Life Church and Ministries, located at 6101 SR 247, just south of Hillsboro. Volunteers will distribute food from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bowman asked community members not to come earlier than 10 a.m., when the gates open, to allow volunteers time to stage food items.
“Whether you get there first or last, you’re going to get plenty,” Bowman said. “We’re going to have plenty of food. We’re going to have milk, dairy products, meat, fresh vegetables, potatoes, bread products.”
According to Bowman, the event will serve at least 700 families from Highland and 12 nearby Appalachian counties.
“There’s a lot of poverty — a lot of needs in this area,” Bowman said. “We just do our best to meet the needs and give them the love of Jesus.”
Though the local food pantry does not require those who stop by to meet specific income requirements or provide proof of residency, Bowman stressed that at least one member of a household must be present in the vehicle to pick up that household’s items in order to receive food. Representatives of multiple households may carpool to pick up food, however.
“We have no restrictions about income or residence,” Bowman said in a previous interview. “All we need is your name, address, phone number, number of people in your family, and any prayer requests.”
When visitors arrive, volunteers will direct them. Visitors will remain in their cars for the duration of the event. Volunteers at different stations will load food items directly into their vehicles.
While they wait in line in the church’s parking lot, visitors can listen to live gospel music. Bowman and his wife Linda, who also serves as a pastor at New Life Church and Ministries, will also preach.
Ivy’s Clothes Closet, where visitors can receive clothing and furniture items at no cost, will be open outside, but Bowman reminded visitors to save room for their food.
Concessions — including sloppy joe and pulled pork sandwiches, homemade fries, tea, lemonade and soda — will be available for purchase.
Bowman said the event would not have been possible without support. He thanked local dentist Lesia Langston, Merchant’s National Bank, Ag Pro Hillsboro, and R&L Carriers, as well as a multitude of local churches and individuals for their support.
Each Friday — 52 weeks a year, rain or shine — New Life Church and Ministries gives away food to those who need it through its Psalm 91 food pantry. Volunteers distribute food from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through a drive-thru system.
To donate online, visit www.newlifehillsboro.org/giving.html. Psalm 91 Shelter House and Food Pantry is a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit, and donations are tax-deductible.
To volunteer, contact pantry director Hilda Hamilton at 937-205-0123, or pastor Linda Bowman at 937-402-1429.
Find New Life Church and Ministries on Facebook.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.
In a scene from the 2012 Help the Hungry event, Bill Bowman, right, and volunteers and participants give away food at Liberty Park in Hillsboro, the event’s former location. This year’s Help the Hungry event will be held at New Life Ministries on Friday, Sept. 18 from 1-5 p.m.