FFP Partners with Local Churches to Help Hurting South Florida Residents
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 30, 2020) In response to the coronavirus crisis, Food For The Poor and Matthew 25: Ministries are partnering with five local church groups to assist South Florida residents with essential goods. While Food For The Poor primarily works internationally, the dire local needs have captured the charity's attention.
"We know that in times like this, it's not only the people in the countries we serve who are suffering, it's all of our neighbors around us," Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine said. "We are blessed to have the support of Matthew 25. Thanks to their generosity, Food For The Poor can give back to the local community, and we are honored to have this privilege."
Five 40-foot tractor-trailer loads of hard-to-find items, such as toilet paper and paper towels, will be distributed to South Florida families in need. Cleaning supplies and personal care items like Tide Pods, dishwashing liquid, shampoo and conditioner, diapers, wipes and rash cream were also included.
Containers carrying the relief items arrived in South Florida last week. Distribution is being handled by each organization. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale was the first to organize a distribution last Saturday, and invited those in need to come by their church to pick up these supplies.
"We had the privilege of giving away home and hygiene essentials through the generosity of our partnerships with Matthew 25: Ministries and Food For The Poor," said Paul Walker, Executive Pastor of Ministries Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. "We believe that Christ has called us to live lives of compassion and to focus on what we can give and not on what we can get. We are grateful for the generosity of these ministries in helping us accomplish this."
On Monday, grateful leaders of Christ Fellowship Church in northern Palm Beach County, along with a team of volunteers, delivered many of the items donated by Food For The Poor and Matthew 25: Ministries to residents in one West Palm Beach neighborhood. Gratitude was evident on the smiling faces of recipients.
On Tuesday, a team of volunteers in masks and gloves put together carefully bagged essential supplies and stowed them along the breezeway at Boca Raton Community Church where they were picked up by another set of volunteers in cars.
"Americans don't understand real poverty, but people are getting a glimpse when they can't find toilet paper for two weeks," said Boca Raton Community Church Pastor Bill Mitchell. "We're in a unique position. We're here in Boca Raton and it's not a place people often talk about need. But there is a crisis here. Our vision hasn't changed – pursue God, build community – but how we help people has. Our congregation is really excited about this, and we love helping people."
Everyone who volunteered at the distribution site worked hard to help others, they stayed focused on the task at hand, and did not stop until the last donation was picked up and delivered.
"I've heard people say that we're all in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. Some of us are rowing toward the crisis, but some of us don't even have oars," Pastor Mitchell said, as he looked at all the volunteers working on the breezeway at the Boca Raton campus. "Today, we're here giving out these goods to agencies to help individuals who need it. Matthew 25 and Food For The Poor have allowed us to do that in a special way. God's allowing us to be a conduit. We're at the beginning, usually. We collect the money, we give the money and someone else goes out and does the work. This has given us the blessing of being in the middle of it."
Food For The Poor and Matthew 25: Ministries oversaw the delivery of these items to five local ministries: Boca Raton Community Church, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Christ Fellowship Church; Church United of South Florida, which includes Broward and Palm Beach counties and the Treasure Coast, and the Brazilian Evangelical Pastors Association of the United States.
To see Food For The Poor giving locally, click: www.foodforthepoor.org/ffpgivinglocal
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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