By Michelle Seeber
Trinity Family Church members are preparing to give away about 28,000 pounds of food from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at their Family Center, located at 601 S. Ave. B.
Pastor Jim Maxwell said the church is giving away the food in conjunction with Open Door Ministries of Joshua, Texas.
“We’ve done this before with fantastic results,” Maxwell said.
So fantastic, in fact, that Maxwell has set up a different distribution method than in November, when the church had its last food give-away.
“We’ll know what people want in the way of food (on the forms), so when they get to the parking lot, we can just put it in the car and they can drive on,” he said. “We’ve already got it bagged up. We encourage people not to block the intersection.”
Last year, church members gave food to about 2,000 people.
“We’re hoping to get it done within a couple of hours this time,” he said. “It took four hours last year.”
The food, he said, is being delivered on a truck from Operation Blessing, which is televangelist Pat Robertson’s ministry.
“We’re just trying to make a difference,” Maxwell said. “Anybody that comes to get it is eligible for the food.”
Maxwell said the food will be distributed by having people fill out forms that indicate the number of family members.
“We will disperse the food according to family size,” he said. “We’ve got canned goods, two or three types of beans, some coffee, some spaghetti sauce, diapers, paper towels and toilet paper. The majority is going to be stuff like that.”
Maxwell called last November’s response to the food give-away “awesome.”
“It was great to see people get something they needed,” he said. “This outreach is part of an entire week of things we’re doing. We’re having a revival that goes from Sunday through next Thursday. We’re having a youth concert. People are coming out to help. It’s just great.”
Troy Brewer, senior pastor of Open Door Ministries in Joshua and director of Answer International, said he has known Maxwell through previous church work.
Open Door has been in operation for eight years.
“We’ve been doing outreaches (with food give-aways) since day one,” Brewer said. “We do food ministry all over the place. We like to help churches do food outreaches. It’s our privilege to help other people.”
Open Door and Answer International also provides food in places like London, Uganda, Costa Rica, Havana, he said.
He said food ministries work in the same way as other types of ministry.
“No. 1, we … meet immediate needs,” Brewer said. “We … make an impact on people’s lives. No. 2, we … use that to gain influence to introduce those people to Christ. We believe in doing things with no strings attached, and we think that makes a difference.”
Open Door buys some of the food for the give-away and some is donated, he said. However, Open Door has to organize getting the food.
“We have to hustle and get it,” Brewer said. “We have big organizations and small organizations that donate food to us. A lot of this food that we’re giving away in Portales is coming through Feed the Children of Oklahoma City.”
The food being provided to Portales weighs about 28,000 pounds and cost Open Door around $3,000, he said.
Brewer said his organization has seen “a real need in Portales.
“We did this in November, and we were so overwhelmed by the need. We’ve been looking at the poverty level. More than 50 percent (of the population) makes less than $20,000 a year, so there’s a lot of poverty … a lot of need and we feel privileged to help.”