CULLMAN, Ala. – Since 2009, Cullman First Baptist Church (CFBC) has operated a food pantry for families in need around Cullman, and its important work has become all the more crucial during the economic downturn that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. On the third Saturday of each month, volunteers offer food and a little hope to families from across the county, and the church is prepared to meet needs more often as necessary.
Laura Ray coordinates the ministry, but insists that it is a group effort, telling The Tribune, “It is a group of individuals because we love Jesus, and we provide this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The church decided to pass on major providers like the Food Bank of North Alabama, so all of the pantry’s supplies come from CFBC’s Sunday School classes.
Said Ray, “Each Sunday School class has an assignment, and that’s if they choose to donate- nobody’s making anybody do anything- or they can make a donation if they feel led to do that. Because of that, every month we’re able to provide a very nice bit of staples to someone’s food need.”
Ray said that the pantry regularly supplies its clients sugar, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables and fruits, cereals, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, fresh bread and canned meats like chicken and Spam. When available, the pantry will also give out items like toilet paper and disinfecting wipes, though such items have been in short supply recently. Seasonal foods include turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and farm-fresh items like watermelons.
Ray said that her church’s ministry also shares something more important than groceries, telling The Tribune, “What we have to share is hope, and that hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
When they can, volunteers will talk with and counsel clients whose hardships go beyond physical needs.
CFBC asks food pantry clients to come every other month, but according to Ray, “As we talk to these folks, if they need to come back the next month, then they’re invited to do so.”
In between the third Saturday distribution events, CFBC’s benevolence ministry can help people with urgent needs if they contact the church office.
The pantry is open to residents of Cullman County, and new clients will need to bring a driver’s license and proof of address. Proof of income or financial hardship is not necessary. For more information, email email@example.com, call 256-734-5632 or visit http://cullmanfbc.com.
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