Alabaster Church of God hosts food bank every third Thursday

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Food insecurity has been an unfortunate side-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led many struggling to afford food or to make hard decisions on which needs they would focus on.

The Alabaster Church of God identified this need early on, and set out to make a difference by hosting a food bank every third Thursday to help those who have been affected.

Pastor Ken Stroup explained that many people in the community had reached out with heartbreaking stories of financial difficulties that impacted him and other members of his church in a very profound way.

“We have heard from a lot of elderly people who have been telling us that sometimes they have to choose between food and medicine,” Stroup said. “By giving them this food, we are hoping that they no longer have to make that choice and can use their money for medicine or other needs.”

The church was able to partner with Feeding America and the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama to put on their drive-thru food pick-up.

“We also have a couple farm families who pitch in and give us vegetables, fruit and other food items,” Stroup said. “These have helped us do mobile pantries in the past where we are able to send out around 200 boxes of food for families in need.”

This program was typically held twice a month, however with COVID-19 related restrictions in place it had to be knocked down to once a month.

The boxes will have non-perishable items typical of food pantries such as canned foods, dry beans and rice among other things. Stroup said that he will also pick up frozen pizzas and bread, and other items from local stores that would be of help.

There has been an observable effect as he estimates that the church is able to provide food to around 120 families each month.

“We are just trying to help people in need,” Stroup said.

The church said that they would love to have donations from anyone interested, as long as the food is not out of date.

The food bank is set up as a drive-thru, and guests will not even have to get out of their car. The boxes are prepacked by volunteers and loaded into the car so that no one has to risk compromising their health.

These food banks are held every third Thursday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Alabaster Church of God, which is located at 530 1st Ave. W.