For I Hungered, and Ye Gave Me Meat - Capital Area Food Bank
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For I Hungered, and Ye Gave Me Meat

By Elder Eddie B Pruitte September 4, 2013

eddieFor I hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:… And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
As the pastor of Holiness Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ, I understand that we have a great calling to meet the varying needs of our community. This includes not only spiritual needs, but physical needs as well. The cost of living in the Woodbridge area is staggering. According to the 2012 US Census Quick Facts for Prince William County, 5.6 percent of the population is surviving at or below the poverty line. These conditions literally cripple individuals working to provide adequate housing, clothing and food for their families.
Despite these sobering statistics, I am grateful to say that we at Holiness Tabernacle have remained committed to demonstrating Christ’s agape love to our fellow man. Our partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank has enabled us to stretch the generous dollars of our local membership. Fifteen thousand people are fed yearly through our bi-monthly, local food pantry program. That’s more than 200,000 pounds of non-perishable food, meats and fresh produce distributed over the past three years. Many participants of our program visit each month, reminding us that these food items go a long way to help supplement limited budgets.
We’ve also seen tremendous success with the growth of our annual Free Turkey Giveaway program. In 2011 we distributed 400 turkeys and just this past November, we distributed more than 700 turkeys in less than two hours. We also work with the Prince William County school system to identify and provide Thanksgiving baskets filled with stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, turkey – all the food items needed for a grand Thanksgiving meal – to families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. The demand for our Turkey Giveaway have grown so large, we’ve had to hire Sheriffs to direct traffic on the streets surrounding our building.
But despite these successes, we understand that we can’t rest on our laurels. Currently, our 100-person membership funds these programs almost entirely. In order for us to sustain and grow these vital programs, it will require additional resources and partnerships with community organizations and government agencies. We can’t do this on our own.
Although the food distribution program has been the main thrust of our mission program, we are coming to the realization that we need to expand our outreach program to the meet plethora of needs facing the community. As the number of people we serve increases, the resources seem to decrease.
And that is why I am joining with the Capital Area Food Bank to bring awareness to Hunger Action Month. It is critical that those of us working every day to meet the demands of our communities share our stories and convey the great need for additional support.
This month, I encourage you to seek out ways to help someone in need. If you would like to partner with us in our effort to provide food to families living in Prince William County, contact us at Holiness Tabernacle at 703-497-7928.
I bless you in the name of the Lord!
Eddie B Pruitte, Jr.
Holiness Tabernacle COGIC, Pastor & Founder