Local Churches Team Up To Feed Community
Returning to Washington Middle School for the second year in a row members of Conduit Ministries, Bemus Point United Methodist Church and other volunteers distributed 175 Thanksgiving meals in 30 minutes on Saturday.
In total 1,250 meals were distributed at eight different locations in Jamestown and some surrounding areas.
Thanks to some of the local members of the faith-based community, including Conduit Ministries, Bemus Point United Methodist Church and other volunteers joined forces to distribute the Thanksgiving meals across Jamestown and some of its surrounding areas Saturday. Making this day somewhat of a norm for the intrepid churches and a blessing for others.
“We’ve done this Thanksgiving giveaway, going on five or six years now,” said Jacob Stahley, a member of Conduit Ministries and local resident.
“This is such a nice thing the churches do,” said Maria Santiago a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico and resident of Jamestown. “The cost of everything is so expensive, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. But praise be to God that “His” churches blessed us, and we won’t be hungry on Thursday.”
Santiago isn’t alone in her concern with putting food on the table for her family of five. Millions of Americans are experiencing food insecurities at alarming rates, and this includes children too.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture found hunger in the U.S. rose sharply in 2022. The USDA reported that 44.2 million people lived in households that had difficulty getting enough food to feed everyone in 2022, up from 33.8 million people the year prior. Those families include more than 13 million children experiencing food insecurity, a jump of nearly 45% from 2021.
However, trying to fill this need and help reduce the reported statistical data, locally, churches such as Conduit and Bemus Point United Methodist Church have been doing all they can to help.
“I wish there was more we could do,” said Stahley. “Out of all the years we’ve been helping with this event I’ve never seen the meals go this quickly or the demand as great as it is for this year.”
Several of the volunteers pondered the reason why the explosive demand for assistance and the quickness of the distribution as compared to some of the other years they’ve conducted this event.
“I think it’s a combination of things,” said Pete Williams, a resident of Jamestown, member of Conduit Church and local lawyer. “We had good weather today, the economy and inflation are a factor, the skyrocketing cost of food and we had more of a media presence this year. Plus, I think word-of-mouth is starting to spread about this event.”