March 31, 2020 | Articles | Stories | Serve Stories by Shelah Woodruff
We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28
Behind the scenes last week, a few of us had the pleasure of watching God turn something that was on the verge of rotting into a huge blessing—literally working all things together for good in front of our very eyes.
When restaurants closed to dine-in customers to help limit the spread of COVID-19, many of us felt the effects in our personal and professional lives. Overnight, restaurants needed less food, which left distributors like Creation Gardens here in Louisville with giant warehouses full of food about to go bad.
Christ Church member Alex Deskins, also VP of Finance at Creation Gardens, contacted the church to ask if any of our community partners or ministries could use the overabundance of produce. In the midst of an incredibly difficult season for the company and its employees—when we first talked, Creation Gardens had to lay off more than 40% of its workforce—the company wanted to be sure its food went to those who needed it most. Her company was already working with some of the biggest meal ministries in town—Dare to Care, Kentucky Harvest, God’s Pantry and more—but still had truckloads upon truckloads of good, fresh food that would go bad if no one could take and distribute it in the community.
Our Outreach + Justice team went into full effect, checking with the organizations Christ Church works with regularly and with secondary contacts to ensure that this blessing would not go to waste. Scroll to the end of this story for more on how our partners tells us the pandemic is affecting our community.
Christ Church members Leah Bennet, Shauna Brandon and Analese Cravens were essential in getting the word out and the goods delivered. In just a few short days, nine Christ Church ministry partners and community connections distributed $14,063 (392 cases!) worth of food for the families they serve and other community members.
Thank you for praying that God will use this time to draw us closer to Him and closer together. Your prayers are working! Know that your continued giving, generosity and support allow our church to continue working together in this way, serving God, sharing God’s love and becoming living proof of God’s love together. We continue to seek and serve God as we help each other and our neighbors stay “healthy at home.”
As team members reached out around Louisville, we discovered how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting neighbors across Louisville:
- Neighborhood grocery stores are empty—and the next closest store is often miles away on public transportation. Neighbors are largely in good spirts, however, and hopeful that provisions will come. Our partners, including Portland Promise Center, Lifehouse Maternity Home and City Life are preparing to BE that provision as neighbors need food. With ingenuity and integrity they’re seeking ways to distribute needed items with proper safety and social distancing precautions in effect.
- Schools are feeding children breakfast and lunch. Children can collect meals three times each week, but social distancing rules prevent all but essential food preparing employees to be present. Our contacts who would normally distribute food and know the specific needs of children and families are home trying to connect with families virtually, encourage health and safety, and prevent contact and spread. These specialists feel distanced and wonder how they will continue to support families remotely.
- People are still hungry. As a result, feeding ministries like Open Door at Fourth Avenue UMC, Salvation Army, Wayside Christian Mission, St. Vincent DePaul, and Franciscan Kitchen are feeding hundreds of people each day. Moreover, those who have been furloughed or laid off in this uncertain time can have a free meal and save their money for rent, electricity, and other bills. While trying to be as safe as possible by maintaining proper distancing among workers and clients, and following all hygiene precautions, they also wonder how to find the sanitizing and hygiene supplies. In addition, some of our community ministry partners such as Lifehouse Maternity Home are reaching out to “alumni” who have lost their work and child care, and need additional support at this time.