The holidays are about more than giving to others. For some, it’s also a time to do for others.
Volunteers from Bay Harbour Church of God in Brunswick carried that mindset Monday as they served around 600 community members during the church’s monthly food distribution event.
Bay Harbour Church of God partners with America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia on the third Monday of every month to give away meals to community members. Every year, the event in November draws one of the biggest crowds, said Gail Asbell, a church member who started this ministry about 10 years ago.
The high turnout each month demonstrates the significant need in the community, said Rev. John Harris, lead pastor of Bay Harbour Church of God.
“We’ve seen so much need in the community,” Harris said. “And we just want to do our part in helping. The stories that we hear, the testimonials that we hear, are pretty heartbreaking. And for us, it is the opportunity to be an answer to their prayers.”
Nearly 40 volunteers from the church distributed food Monday. They had help from a group of student Beta Club members from Risley Middle School.
“Today, they get a brown bag of canned goods and dry goods,” Harris said. “They also get a bag of frozen meat. Today that is chicken and pork and hamburger meat … Then they come out here, and we’ll have a bag of pecans and also a bag of plums today.”
The America’s Second Harvest food pantry provides the food. College of Coastal Georgia nursing students took part in Monday’s event, setting up a community health fair and offering information on a variety of health issues, including blood pressure, healthy eating on a budget and skin and lung cancer risks.
“It helps us reach out to different parts of the community all at once,” said Madison Merritt, a junior nursing student at the college. “It’s a good event to really draw people in and get them talking about health education.”
Those wishing to support the food distribution effort can volunteer during the monthly drive, Harris said, or donate.
“For us, it’s about thanks-doing,” Harris said. “It’s the gratitude that we’ve had, for what the Lord has done for us, what Lord Jesus has done for us. That’s the motivation, and it’s helping our community.”