When the Rev. Howard L. Williams learned that his Victorious Life Christian Center church on Tamarack Circle would become a Mid-Ohio Foodbank distribution site for fresh produce, his reaction was immediate:
"Praise the Lord!" the senior pastor recalled saying last week.
Williams credited his wife, Reggi, and Outreach Community Liaison Lisa R. Johnson with making the arrangements necessary to offer fresh produce at the church, 1875 Tamarack Circle N., beginning Thursday, Aug. 29.
"Our job is to win souls and make disciples, and one of the things I firmly believe is you've got to meet their needs," Rev. Williams said. "Sometimes people can't hear what we're telling them over hungry, grumbling stomachs.
"It's loving the people in our community and giving back to them."
Volunteers are needed to help in a variety of ways at the first of what church representatives hope will become monthly produce distributions.
The food is to be provided to those asking for it from 1 to 7 p.m., or until it runs out, according to a flyer.
However, Johnson said assistance is needed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to help register applicants, provide security in the parking lot and escort people to their vehicles once they've picked up the produce. Donations of bags are being sought, although food recipients are also being asked to bring their own bags or boxes.
"We felt it was something needed in this demographic area," Johnson said in explaining why she and Reggi Williams attended a meeting put on by Mid-Ohio Foodbank personnel explaining what was needed in order to become a distribution site.
"Once they explain it to you ... it's not very hard to figure out what you need to do, but the hardest part is getting the volunteers," she added.
The process for obtaining the food is far from rigorous, she said. One person must register for a household, and that's it, she said.
"Times are hard, so they basically just told us to have them sign the form and give the food to them," Johnson said of Foodbank officials.
"It is our prayer that we can continue to do it monthly," she added.
Johnson indicated it is her hope that other Northland congregations might want to join in the food distribution effort, in which case, a larger venue would be needed.