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Reasons:

  • Our church community is located in a county in which according to federal guidelines, 31% of our children are classified as at risk and for the 2010-2011 school year of the 1320 students attending school, 675 qualified for free lunches and 105 for reduced priced lunches (Data supplied by Manna personnel in Asheville on May 6, 2013). This is to say nothing of the children who do not attend school.
  • As part of the Body of Christ we are mandated to follow the teachings and practice of Christ to feed the hungry and make Disciples of Christ (Matthew 25:35f). We see no reason not to address the hunger issue among our children because we believe everyone needs a hand every once in a while and for some of them the time is now.

How:

  • We began by recognizing that the need existed by communication with teachers and others who minister to the children of our community.
  • Developed a group within Ledford’s Chapel to begin gathering information.
  • Met with community members involved in food programs to include the local food pantry, Manna of Asheville, other faith communities.
  • Met as members of the UMC and acquired suggestions concerning how and where to serve.
  • Started with the summer programs at the school and Hispanic communities as possible delivery points and expanded to more sites and home deliveries.
  • Became a delivery point for Manna’s pilot summer program.
  • Continued to grow.

Plans for the Future:

  • We intend to continue the summer program and grow it for the next few years.
  • Provide some food delivery during the school year to those children who do not attend school or for some reason are not served by the food programs located at the school.