ISLAND CREEK, Ky. (KT) - Creekside Church, located in an Appalachian community, comes across families with food insecurity every week.
Through the children’s ministry and van ministry, the church sponsors programs that feed children in the area on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. They were bringing in 50 to 60 children, pre-COVID, said Pastor Jason Johnson.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention, in partnership with Global Hunger Relief, is involved in relieving hunger locally, nationally and internationally in many different ways, from providing meals and groceries to hungry families to participating in famine and drought relief.
Seventeen percent of Kentuckians are food insecure, including 222,380 children while Kentucky Baptists hunger relief ministries provided 229,000 meals last year.
Oct. 11 has been designated as Global Hunger Relief Sunday.
“The kids get so excited when we tell them what they’re having,” Johnson said. “We try to give them a hot meal on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings as well.”
The pastor said the ministry involves more than two dozen dedicated volunteer workers.
“Our folks are resourceful,” Johnson said. “We have some places we can go to get some food. But if we make hot dogs one week, the next week we will use the leftover buns to make garlic bread. They’re always thinking about how to best utilize what we are given or what we buy.”
The church also has a food pantry that they keep well stocked, Johnson said.
“We’ll get references year around and take food to families in need,” he said. “It’s not like once a month or anything but it’s more on a referral system. We’ll take them a box of food and a lot of time it’s not the people themselves asking for it."
Neighbors and sometimes even the children will say something to the volunteers about what is or isn’t available to eat in their homes.
“We can’t do transportation right now because of COVID, but we’re still feeding a few each week,” Johnson said. “During the early part of COVID we were delivering some food to people.”
He said they also try to supply Thanksgiving and Christmas food boxes to as many as possible.
The desire of KBC hunger relief ministries is to build relationships with people and eventually lead them to a relationship with Christ. Last year, 24,420 people world-wide, including 261 Kentuckians, professed faith in Christ as a direct result of hunger relief ministries.
If you are a member of a Southern Baptist church, make your Global Hunger Relief gift by placing it in the offering plate at your church with "Global Hunger Relief" on your check or offering envelope.