JACKSONVILLE FL—In partnership with the Florida Baptist Convention, the State of Florida is sending multiple semi-trucks each loaded with 3,450 boxes of meal kits for the network of Florida Baptist churches to distribute to food-insecure Floridians in their communities.
Each individual meal kit will have enough non-perishable items to feed a person for seven days. Trucks are expected to begin arriving April 22 and continue through the end of the month.
“Through the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen a loss of jobs and decrease in income resulting in a dramatic need for hunger-based ministries,” said Micah Ferguson, director of Strategic Initiatives for the Florida Baptist Convention. “People are going hungry.”
As many as 112 Florida Baptist churches have on-going food ministries, said Marc Johnston, Florida Baptist Community Ministries catalyst “Both small and large food ministries have seen an increase in families coming to the churches in need of food. The greatest hinderance is the lack of food. Food banks have been hit hard, restaurants have closed with no surplus to share and grocery stores have been depleted of many foods.”
“This food from the state is a great avenue to say we love you in a very practical way, while sharing with them the love of Jesus,” Johnston said.
The distribution of food to the Convention’s network of churches is made possible through the ongoing partnership Florida Baptists have established with the state through Florida Baptist Disaster Relief ministries that respond during times of disasters. The Convention also partners with the state in its “Write Beside You” school initiative and ministries to the state’s prisons.
Churches with a desire to establish or expand a food ministry can participate in the food box distribution to their communities. Although the state convention is aware of the 100-plus church-based food ministries, Johnston suggested other congregations may have similar ministries.
Churches are asked to contact Myles Dowdy, Florida Baptists’ Missions and Ministries lead catalyst at (813) 493-9608 to alert him of their ongoing ministries, express interest in obtaining the food and receive information about expanding or establishing an on-going ministry. Some start-up funding to establish ministries is available.
After receiving the food at Lake Yale, distribution hubs will be stationed across the state to increase access for churches to the food boxes.
For more information on receiving the food products, contact Myles Dowdy, Florida Baptists’ Missions and Ministries lead catalyst at (813) 493-9608