USDA cuts funding to Farm to Families Food Box Program
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Pastor William Ward of Bethel Church of God In Christ says he was blindsided by the news that food distribution events are coming to an end, but he’s thankful for the blessing to provide to so many during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I had about 40-something partners, churches and business, university students, and everybody partner with me to get the food out to the neighboring communities,” the pastor said.
Every Saturday morning since October 2020, you’d see cars lined around Buford Middle School, waiting to be given a box of food.
“We gave away over 1,200 boxes a week, and some weeks it was over 1,700 boxes at 40 pounds a box,” Ward said.
That’s upwards of 46,000 pounds of food per week going to people in need. Ward says, this week, the FDA cut the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
“We still are committed to doing whatever we can do to service our community,” he said. “I feel like my hands are tied, but I know that the God that we serve, the God that we trust, and the God that we believe in, He made this possible. So, to that point, we give Him the glory by trusting us to be faithful to serve our community.”
Although this program is coming to an end, the USDA said in a statement it, “will continue to take feedback and look for opportunities to use existing channels to meet food assistance needs.”
As far as the church is concerned, Ward says the food insecurity battle will continue to be fought.
“I believe that prayer effects change not only in the hearts of people, but in situations and circumstances. When when one door closes, God opens another door,” he said.
The program is now over and there will not be a food distribution event on May 29.
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