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First Missionary Baptist Church hosts food drive

By Lauren Johnson

First Missionary Baptist Church saw a need in the community and decided to fill that need by holding a food drive once a month. Wednesday the church held their food drive for the month of January and had about 270 people preregistered.

The three coordinators Jannique Baxter-Lee, Phyllis Jackson, and Gwen Davis, first recognized the communities need and brought their idea of having a food drive to Pastor George Gilchrist Jr.

“Pastor Gilchrist was more than willing to help us,” Baxter-Lee said. “Now we will have a food drive once a month until June at the least. If we feel there’s still an imminent need in the community after that we will continue.”

Volunteer Dan Green explained that the monthly food drive was in response to the pandemic initially. “We started food ministry several years ago, but as Covid continues to be an issue, we knew we needed to do more,” Green said.

About two weeks before the food giveaway date, the church will have a preregistration period located in the fellowship hall of the church for people to come and get tickets. On the day of the food drive, people with tickets are served first. There are no pre-qualifications required to register. “To preregister, we will need your name and the number of people in your family. On the day of the food drive, you’ll get a ticket for each person your picking food up for. This number will be placed on the car windshield, so we know exactly how much you need,” Baxter-Lee said.

From 9:00 a.m. until noon or until all the food is gone, those who are preregistered can drive through the parking lot to pick up an order. Those who are not preregistered can still come, but will have to wait at the end of the line.

“Volunteers also carry food to people who don’t drive. We’ll pick up the food for them and drop it off at their house,” Green said.

First Missionary Baptist Church receives the food from the food bank in Montgomery and each month an 18-wheeler will deliver the food. Baxter-Lee explained they never know exactly what kind of food they will get, but fruits, vegetables, snacks, and drinks are always included. 

“It’s a big help to the community,” Baxter-Lee said. “We also found out people from Crenshaw County and Dale County come through our food drive, so we’re serving a diverse population.”

Baxter-Lee and her team are working to serve the people in Pike and surrounding counties. They also hope to encourage other churches to start food drives as well. First Missionary Baptist Church will have their next food drive giveaway on February 24. The preregistration date to get tickets will be announced soon.To stay up to date with information about the food drive, check First Missionary Baptist Church Facebook page or text or call Jannique Baxter-Lee.