Foodbank looks to reach rural communities

Published 8:45 pm Thursday, April 16, 2020

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Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center wants to extend its reach from its downtown base to feed more people in rural areas of the city, so it is hopeful that Saturday’s drive-through food distribution in Holland will be a precursor to more such events in the future.

The event will be at the Holland Community Center at 7650 S. Quay Road at 11 a.m. and is designed to serve that community and the immediate surrounding area, according to Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center Director Lorna Slaughter, who expects a good turnout.

“Everything just fell into place,” Slaughter said. “It was really good, and they were very supportive and open to the idea, and I believe the community is going to respond, just the same.”

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Slaughter said Holland has been an area high on the Fellowship Center’s priority list.

“We’ve had a heart for Holland for some time, anyway,” Slaughter said. “So, when we decided that we wanted to move forward, of course we had to dig into the resources that are in that neighborhood to connect it with them, and they were able to say, ‘Absolutely, you can use this because it’s here. It’s available. It’s for the people involved.’ The community center because the ideal place for us to go and provide this service to the residents of that community.”

She said the word is spreading about the Fellowship Center’s ministry, and it is receiving numerous calls, along with more donations and offers of help. Some, she said, had previously been unaware of it and its location on East Washington Street downtown.

“We’ve got folks that are calling and saying, ‘Well, I can drop this off,’ and some people are just sending checks,” Slaughter said. “It’s just a little something to help you all keep going.”

Slaughter hopes to hold more events away from its downtown base, knowing there is a need in other parts of the city. The main thing for her and the Fellowship Center’s ministry, she said, is to be a blessing for people in the city.

“We definitely want to be able to go and provide this service again to the community on another date and time,” Slaughter said. “But of course, we are also putting feelers out there to other areas, particularly more rural, that they’ll have the same access that some of the other more local and more inner city areas have. We are definitely looking — we would love to do this again and do it in another area where we see the need. Of course, the access is low and the need is great.”