Augusta-area churches lend a hand to those who are hungry

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:35 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Local churches are doing what they can to ensure everyone has a meal this holiday season.

We went to Vineyard Church, where they’re expecting to provide more than 600 meals this holiday season.

The bags of food are part of the meals that are going to feed more than 150 families. That doesn’t include the 600 hot meals they’re distributing on Thursday.

Vineyard Church has been doing this for two decades but says the need has increased.

“We’ve doubled, and in some cases, I think we’ve actually close to tripled in the last two years,” said Mary-Margaret Leroy, kids and outreach pastor.

Leroy has been working with the church for more than a decade. She says she has seen the increase in need firsthand.

“The need for food has just escalated, especially since mid-summer, we saw a huge uptake,” she said.

To help make up for this need, they are getting ready to serve 600 meals to shut-ins and disabled community members. They are not the only ones trying to help.

Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church Secretary Eunice Johnson said: “We enjoy giving back to the community.”

They also host a food distribution on the third Monday of the month. She says this week is even more important as we approach Thanksgiving.

“A lot of people are thankful, but they don’t have means of getting the necessary nutrition they need, so we’re here to help them whichever way we can,” she said.

They both partner with Golden Harvest, which has seen a big increase in the number of people visiting its food pantries over the last few months.

Golden Harvest President and CEO Amy Breitmann said: “We’ve really across the board experienced about a 39 percent increase in the number of people coming to see us over last year.”

As more people depend on food pantries this holiday season, the churches say they are happy to help

Johnson said: “To give back to others who are unable to do for themselves. That’s the main thing.”

Leroy said: “Folks in poverty that are having a difficult time, they have very little choices and this is just the way we can be like Jesus.”