Christian Ministry of Lincoln County has food – and they want to give it out. Mitzi Williams, the
executive director of Christian Ministry knows that people may work hours that would prevent them from picking up at the main location on Poplar Street, so she’s partnered with several area churches to add satellite two locations to make pick-up easier. These locations include McKendree United Methodist Church on Maiden Highway in Lincolnton and Cedar Grove Lutheran Church on Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale.
“People will now have three different times that they can pick-up food,” Williams said. “We wanted to give people the opportunity to get to us that couldn’t get there Monday through Friday from 9 to 1. Anyone can send someone on their behalf, but sometimes they just need to come by themselves. Plus, we’re excited about opening the office in the church at Cedar Grove in Vale because that’s a long way from our office downtown. We’re hoping to really be able to touch the community up there that needs us.”
Every Wednesday, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the main location on Popular Street in the rear parking lot, the ministry has a big food giveaway of items that they have in excess.
“It’s not something they have to interview for,” Williams said. “It can be anything from produce to meats to milk to anything in between.”
Christian ministry is the distributor for the county for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. USDA provides 100% American-grown USDA Foods and administrative funds to states to operate TEFAP.
“It’s given to Second Harvest Food Bank and they in turn give it to us,” Williams said. “We do have to get some information from people for that food, but they don’t have to bring documents. They just self-declare the information – that their income is within guidelines and they live in Lincoln County. That food is abundant right now. We want to make sure everyone knows it’s there and they can come and get it.”
This food is available at all three locations during scheduled hours. Forms for financial assistance can be filled out at the satellite locations during their scheduled hours.
The Poplar Street location is at 207 South Poplar Street in Lincolnton. Hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The McKendree UMC location is at 3537 Maiden Highway in Lincolnton. Hours are the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. – noon and the third Thursday of each month from 5 – 7 p.m. The Cedar Grove Lutheran location is 261 Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale. Hours are the first Thursday of each month from 5 – 7 p.m.
The give-out of extra foods on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Poplar Street location.
LINC meals is operating once again, but more volunteers are needed, according to Williams. Clothing donations are still not being accepted due to a volunteer shortage. The soup kitchen is open, serving the community during the expanded hours of 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“We’re only sitting 14 people at a time,” Williams said. “It’s going pretty good. I think people have figured out the flow. People come in, get what they want to eat, sit down to eat and when they get up, we clean the area and the next person can sit down. People are socially distanced and wear masks.”