Ken Roberts rolled into the parking lot of Hyattsville Elementary School shortly before noon on Jan. 16 and unloaded about 30 grocery bags of fresh vegetables that would be retrieved by school children later that afternoon.
“We are just sharing the love of Jesus,” Roberts, 56, a deacon at the Hyattsville-based University Park Church of Christ, told the AFRO. “The Bible says love thee with all your heart and your strength.”
Roberts, who is a retired Giant Food’s worker, said his church is part of a network of congregations that distribute food collected by Pastor Ben Slye of the Christian Life Church in Riverdale, Md. Twice a month drivers for the church collect unused food from the various institutions that will be given out to the poor.
University Park Elder Cleve Behler said that the congregation is involved in food distribution, housing the homeless and supporting the Prince George’s Day Center. In addition, the church also served breakfast to the Northwestern High School football team during the season.
“We are just doing what we can,” said Behler whose congregation is one of many along East/West Highway.
The First United Methodist Church, Concordia Lutheran, Hyattsville Mennonite and University Christian Church all have various outreach ministries that are welcomed by county social services.
Bishop James Jordan, pastor of the Refreshing Springs Church of Christ in Riverdale Park, said the church has increased its distribution of food and clothing and there are immigrants from many nations.
“We have people from Africa, Haiti, Syria and other countries,” Jordan said. “Our biggest challenge is clothing and feeding the people but this is what the Bible commands us to do.”
From Hyatsville, which is designated as a sanctuary city, to Capital Heights, Md. houses of faith are doing what they can do to be a helpful arm of the government.
Edwanda Larkin, who works at the food bank at First Baptist Church of Glenarden, said it is a blessing to volunteer and see the responses of the people. “People are encouraged, you can see the smiles on their faces,” she said.