By LARRY VAUGHT
Every day now I have made a vow to try to find something positive to share on social media in some way during this uneasy time we are all facing regardless of age, race, gender, income and location.
That’s why Southland Christian Church campus in Danville (1001 Ben Ali Drive) got my attention last week when I saw cars stopping and drivers picking up sacks placed on a table. Turns out the church has partnered with the Boyle County Schools as a distribution center for food.
“They (the school) brings the food over and we serve it,” said Tiffany Jacobs, Southland associate pastor. “Every family that has kids 18 and under can come and get food for the kids. We have a hot lunch and a breakfast for the next day.”
Pickup hours are noon-2 p.m. daily and Jacobs says no one is turned down. They have had families from Danville, Mercer County and Lincoln County come by to pick up food.
“It’s good food and it’s all free,” Jacobs said. “We are careful with social distancing.”
Yes they are. Either Jacobs, a Boyle school employee or Brian Lucas, Southland campus pastor, ask how many meals a car needs, places the meals on a table, walks away and then the driver gets out to pick up the meals.
“It’s an opportunity for kids to get in the car, stay safe and get good food,” Jacobs said. “We try to keep the numbers involved on our end small to keep things safer for everybody.”
If that’s not enough, the church also has a backpack ministry that sends food home over the weekend.
“With everything going on and so many people losing jobs, we ramped up our backpack ministry,” Jacobs said. “We take donations at one (church) door and pickup food at the other door. The church is supplying items (for the backpack ministry) and people are also bringing donations to provide family meals to supplement those in need of food.”
Donations for the backpack program are welcome because Jacobs know the need is likely going to escalate in the weeks ahead.
“Just getting food right now is not always easy. So if people can add a few items to their regular grocery list and have that for a donation, that would be great,” she said. “We take donations from 12-2 daily.”
The church depends on the school system’s family resource center to identify families in need but Jacobs says anyone in need of food can reach out to her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to help with the program, Jacobs said that would be appreciated but that they are not set up to provide receipts for tax purposes at the donation site.
Southland is not going to stop providing services, either, during the scheduled April 6 spring break week.
“It has been such a pleasure doing this. We are loving it,” Jacobs said. “So many things are shut down. So many people are not working. It’s easy to feel helpless so we are just buckling down and doing all we can to help.”