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Food box giveaway scheduled

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith/ Community Columnist

Mt. Pisgah United Methodist will host a free food box giveaway, Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 am. The giveaway is a monthly service that the church hosts for the community.

“It started about four years ago, when we opened a free food pantry (cabinet) in front of our church,” said Mt. Pisgah Pastor Andrew Howell. “The Blessing Box has a sign on it that says ‘Take what you need and be blessed. Give what you can and be blessed.’”

After seeing the community need, the church also began a monthly partnership with Son Light Center in Jemison, which is a mediator for Montgomery Food Bank. Each week, Montgomery Food Bank sends a truck to Chilton County with cases of food item staples.

“We also recently started partnering with Farmers to Families which can provide items like dairy, meat and vegetables,” said Son Light Center Director Betty Oldroyd. “Many families within our community have lost their job or just need help right now.”

“Son Light was looking for distribution points, and Mt. Pisgah decided to help,” said Powell. “Before each giveaway, we collect disposable boxes in the community. Sometimes if we can’t find enough boxes we will buy laundry baskets at the Dollar Store and use those to place the food items in. A group of volunteers gets together at the church to pack the boxes.”

Every fourth Saturday of the month, Mt. Pisgah hosts the drive-thru pick up for the food boxes.

“Because Montgomery Food Bank is a government-provided service they require that we take an application and ask for identification,” said Powell.

The application documents how many individuals within Chilton County are in need of the service and the age group that is being served. Powell said that the last giveaway equated to 45 adults and 58 children that were fed for the week.

Powell welcomes those in the community that would like to help in packing food boxes. The volunteer group meets the Friday before at 6 p.m. at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church.

Other food distribution locations that rotate weekly are: Seventh Day Adventist Church (First Saturday of the month, 401 18th St N, Clanton); West End Park (413 14th Street, Clanton); Church at Bethel (10042 Collins Chapel Rd, Thorsby); Maplesville Train Depot (9499 AL Hwy 22, Maplesville) and World Outreach Church (14683 Co. Rd. 29, Jemison).

“As a church, we believe in the mission to go everywhere and share the love of Jesus Christ,” said Powell. “There is a tangible need in Chilton County for this service and we believe that we are spreading His love through this service.”

Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church is located at 2930 County Road 49, Clanton, AL 35045.