Monday, 08 March 2021 13:05

Pee Dee Baptist Association distributes 1,100 food boxes in Richmond, Scotland counties

Written by
Rate this item
(2 votes)
Members of churches affiliated with the Pee Dee Baptist Association load vehicles with food boxes from the USDA Farmers to Families program Monday at Freedom Baptist Church. See a video on the RO's Facebook page. Members of churches affiliated with the Pee Dee Baptist Association load vehicles with food boxes from the USDA Farmers to Families program Monday at Freedom Baptist Church. See a video on the RO's Facebook page. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The parking lot of Freedom Baptist Church was temporarily turned into a loading zone Monday morning as churches from across two counties picked up food boxes to distribute in their communities.


Pastors and other church members affiliated with the Pee Dee Baptist Association loaded up trailers, cars, trucks and vans with nearly 1,100 boxes from the USDA Farmers to Families program.

Toby Neal, associational mission strategist for PDBA, said the program started in March of 2020 when farmers had problems distributing their products to restaurants, which had been shut down by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Baptists on Mission along with the Baptist association came together and did a partnership where they, through the USDA, bought the produce and got it into the mission field … to get it into the hands of the local church to get it into the community,” Neal said. “So, farmers win, the community wins.”

The PDBA has 38 member churches in Richmond and Scotland counties, which participated in Monday’s drop-off and pick-up.

A forklift moved pallets from the truck to the parking lot — or in some cases, directly into the back of a pickup or trailer — while other volunteers hauled boxes and stacked them into vehicles moving through the line.

There were 1,092 food boxes on the truck, according to Neal, each containing most of the following: hot dogs, yogurt, cheese, milk, chicken leg quarters, pre-cooked ground meat, and fresh onions, oranges and carrots.

“It’s a great opportunity for the churches to reach out in the community and show the love of Jesus … and be able to reach them, especially in a time of need with COVID still happening and food scarcity is even larger than we can think of,” Neal said. “Especially when you see most kids in our school system, that’s the only meal they get — and not being in school, I wonder how much effect that has had on them.”

Neal said this was the first drop in Richmond County.

“Some of our pastors were going to Lumberton, to Red Springs, to Indian Trail picking up food boxes and bringing them back,” he added.

This was the first of four drops slated for Freedom Baptist, with more scheduled for the next three Mondays.

“God’s working in Richmond County and Scotland County,” Neal said.