As many households across America continue to struggle with food and job insecurity, i5 City Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland, partnered with Joyce Meyer Ministries in Missouri and several others over the weekend to distribute some 100,000 pounds of food and two new cars to community members in need.
“We have so many people in need and that are feeling hopeless and lonely, that what better way to get people together than to serve the community?” i5 City Church Pastor Jimmy Rollins told the Capital Gazette at his church Sunday where scores of volunteers had come to help distribute food from the church’s parking lot.
The church, which describes itself as “a group of people crazy enough to believe we can change the world,” draws its mission from Matthew 25:34-36.
“God has called us to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus. We do this by meeting practical needs in our community. And all this can be seen in our name ‘i5.’ The ‘I’ stands for IMPACT, and the ‘5’ is the five missional ways we impact the world: Food, Water, Shelter, Clothing, and Care,” the church explains on its website. “We are not just a church that does outreach. We are an outreach powered by a church. We live beyond ourselves, love beyond our preferences, and laugh beyond our struggles.”
Other partners involved in Sunday’s effort included Lighthouse Church in Glen Burnie, God’s Pit Crew in Virginia, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank and Food Rescue Baltimore.
Julie Burnett of God’s Pit Crew told WFXR that they partnered with Joyce Meyer Ministries to donate a tractor-trailer load of 1,440 food boxes toward the effort.
People reportedly showed up in hundreds of cars to get food while volunteers also brought packages of food to those who were unable to physically collect the gifts.
Single mother Danyelle Thomas, who said she had been praying to God for a car so she can have better access to job opportunities, was a recipient of one of the two new cars given away by i5 City Church and she said it was more than she expected.
“This is more than what I could have asked for; this car is literally new,” Thomas said of the Nissan Sentra she received. “I feel blessed.”
Thomas told the publication that the first thing she would do is worship in the car then get on the hunt for a better job.
“One of my biggest things was I couldn’t hold a job because I couldn’t get the kids to daycare or pick them up on time. Now I can do that,” she said. “Everything that was harder for me has now become easier; something simple as making to a doctor’s appointment.”
Rollins explained that even though his church wasn’t physically meeting in the church for worship because of the coronavirus, they decided to remain active in meeting the needs of the community because he sees it as the church’s duty.
County Executive Steuart Pittman said he was proud of how the community came together to help their neighbors in the effort.
“The economic victims of this pandemic are our neighbors whose incomes barely cover monthly expenses,” he told the Capital Gazette. “I am proud of the way that our public servants and our community leaders have stepped up to build a safety net, particularly through food distribution.”