Dowagiac Church of Christ to host Feeding America mobile food pantry

DOWAGIAC — A local church is teaming up with Feeding America West Michigan to help feed residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, Dowagiac Church of Christ, 58273 M-51 S., Dowagiac, will be partnering with Feeding America West Michigan to bring a mobile food pantry to the community of Dowagiac. The pantry will provide those in need with fresh food items, such as bread and produce.

Dowagiac Church of Christ already offers a food pantry on the first Monday of every month and has a food bank available for emergency situations. The decision to partner with Feeding America West Michigan was to further help people during this time, said Patricia Gibson, who has been a member of the Dowagiac Church of Christ’s congregation for more than 25 years and is a representative of the church’s food pantry.

“The Church of Christ has been doing food pantries for a long time, and we get a decent amount of people who utilize the service,” she said. “The mobile food pantry that comes will be all fresh food which is something that we normally don’t always offer because we are a small congregation.”

Traditionally, Gibson said the church’s food pantry is stocked with dry goods and sometimes meat.

Gibson said the Dowagiac Church of Christ will be supplying the volunteers, who are excited about bringing the mobile food pantry to the community.

Also, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers will be outfitted with masks and gloves. The food pick-up will also be done in a drive-through manor, Gibson said. In the past, people have always entered the church for its monthly food pantry.

When the mobile food pantry comes to town, it will bring a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and baked goods, according to Feeding America West Michigan’s website.

The mobile food pantries can feed between 100 and 300 households and are hosted by a variety of organizations including churches, schools and community centers. The mobile food pantry also accounts for about 40 percent of the food distributed annually by Feeding America West Michigan.

While Dowagiac Church of Christ is helping out the community, Gibson said the church has transitioned to hosting mass via Zoom communications.

“People are still attending our masses and seem to like the zoom meetings,” Gibson said.

Like other churches in the state, Dowagiac Church of Christ is awaiting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s go-ahead to safely open their doors to the public. In the meantime, the church has encouraged the congregation to use online resources available on the church’s website.

“We are definitely looking forward to getting back together once this time passes,” Gibson said.

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