Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Rehoboth Church Relaunches Food Pantry in Pandemic

Story by LaTasha Hewitt

In response to the pandemic, Rehoboth church members in Reading, Pa., wanted to reach their neighboring community. After assessing community needs, Catrice Davis-Ford, Rehoboth’s Adventist Community Services leader, proposed relaunching the church’s food pantry.

Davis-Ford discovered Helping Harvest, an organization that partners with churches for food distribution. To spread the word about the relaunch, members shared flyers within a five-mile radius and began preparing for the COVID-safe initiative.

Church members distributed food on the church grounds, making it safe and easy for individuals to pick up their pre-packaged boxes and keep the line moving. The meals included enough food for a family to eat for two weeks.

A Helping Harvest representative suggested they start small and prepare food for 50 families. Davis-Ford, however, felt impressed to prepare for 120 families. Her instincts prevailed, as they ended up serving 134 families. At a table, members distributed Bible-based literature and tracts. At the end of the day, only one tract remained.

Rehoboth plans to continue the food distribution every fourth Monday of the month and also provide emergency meals as needed.

“This is all about fulfilling the gospel commission,” says Davis-Ford. “It’s not about us; it’s about helping others, and that is why we do what we do.”

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