Churches Respond to Needs in COVID-19 Crisis

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NASHVILLE (BP) — The needs of communities around the U.S. have been growing in midst of the COVID-19 global crisis.

With many families unable to maintain proper childcare in light of schools shutting down, college students without a place to live and insecure communities without essential household items, churches are stepping in to bring practical aid.

Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., has jumped in to help bring food to those who normally rely on school meals for their children.

Rickey Baxley, administrative pastor at Green Hill Church, said they are partnering with the local food pantry and elementary schools.

“Many students receive two meals a day from their school and with schools being out, there was an immediate need to make sure food was available to those students within the community,” Baxley said.

Baxley said Green Hill will offer prepared food boxes to families in need in the mornings at the church. Each box will provide three to four meals for a family of four.

A local company also donated fresh fruit and produce for families to retrieve from the church, Baxley said.

In addition to the boxed meals available in the mornings, Baxley said each evening the church will have full meals ready to be picked up.

“They won’t even have to get out of their car,” Baxley explained, “[They] just pull up and let us know how many meals are needed, and our volunteers will bring them to their vehicle.”

Baxley said as of 11 a.m. Monday (March 16), they have provided meals for 10 families and anticipate a growing number in the coming week.

“We are grateful for the privilege of continuing to meet the needs of our community as this season keeps rolling and look forward to using this as a platform to meet the immediate needs and to share the Gospel,” Baxley said. The church’s community was hit hard just two weeks ago, when a tornado tore through Mt. Juliet, destroying homes and taking lives.

Immanuel Nashville, also in middle Tennessee, has been making an effort to help find housing for college students displaced by the canceling of in-person classes and campuses closing down.

Barnabas Piper, director for community at Immanuel, said when the church heard of local universities’ decision to move all residential students off campus they acted immediately.

“Those who minister on-campus were quick to notify the church staff and put out word on social media so we could begin to mobilize,” Piper said. “We realized that many of the students most likely to be stranded were international students who could not easily return home because of visa issues, cost and COVID-19 related restrictions.”

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Source: Baptist Press