Church turns to TV to help with food pantry
Channel 12 news reporter, Emily Pantelides, did a feature story on “the little church that could,” highlighting the food pantry of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach Gardens on Monday evening Oct 24.
Featuring the pastor, Rev. Dr. Lea Brown, and Denny Merrifield, lay manager of the food bank, the video highlighted the church’s mission to feed the hungry. “My congregation has a unique experience of often being turned away [for being LGBT] so we never want to turn away anyone,” said Brown on the video.
“The food bank is a passion for our members,” said Merrifield on the video. “The amazing thing is some weeks the number of people coming to the food pantry outnumbers the members who come to church.”
“When I first got here the food pantry was feeding about 1,000 people a month,” Brown said. “Now we’re at 2,000 a month and availability of food and financial support are down.”
She also noted that government-funded Feeding South Florida, a major source for no-cost/low-cost foodstuffs, has fallen short as well.
“So we’ve had to buy from grocery stores and that gets awfully expensive,” she said, adding that she has been meeting with local stores and national chains to enlist their assistance.
“We’ve doubled in a year,” Merrifield said. “So has just about everyone else. I worry about next year and the year after that. How can we have so many hungry people in this country? Just this Thursday close to 400 new people, 116 families, came for food. People drop off as they get on their feet but more are coming than are leaving.”
“We hope the feature on Channel 12 will help us find people who want to feed the hungry,” Brown said. “Money is the best gift we can get right now but we welcome fresh produce which is terribly expensive and we’ll always accept non-perishables.”