Imago Dei provides ministry through food distribution
Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Imago Dei Church at the 45 has been serving Lowndes County residents who struggle with food insecurity for over three years through monthly food distributions at their location in White Hall.
According to Pastor Davey Lyon, the outreach began in 2020 as a small two-man operation.
“We’ve been doing this since November of 2020,” Lyon said. “We started with fifty bags of groceries out of my wife’s minivan at the White Hall Town Hall. We did that for a few months and then when we got access to the Piggly Wiggly building in early 2021, the food banks had dropped prices and it allowed us to do more with the money we had.”
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Lyon said Imago Dei gets the food they distribute primarily from the Montgomery Area Food Bank. An order is placed in advance and then the church stores the food until the next distribution. Some funding for the food is provided by a partnership with the Alabama State Board of Missions, a Southern Baptist organization with a fund to cover reimbursements up to a certain amount for hunger relief.
Lyon said in order to receive distributions individuals must fill out a qualification form which is then turned in to the foodbank; however food donations are sometimes received from outside sources and the church has more discretion on how those foods can be used and who they can be given to.
In addition to receiving pantry staples, individuals who participate in the distributions are met by volunteers who pray with them for whatever struggles they may be facing at the time. Lyon said that this is part of what makes these distributions so special.
“As part of our ministry, we have a team that goes out starting at 8 and they pray for people,” Lyon expressed. “We want to meet people in their physical need of food, but we also want to meet them in a greater need which is to know Christ as their Lord and savior, so we go and offer prayer and most people are really glad and appreciative. We’re all human and we all have things we’re going through and struggling with so it’s a great opportunity to minister and gives a lot of opportunities to share the gospel with people.”
Lyon’s wife, Amber Lyon, said that the outreach project has grown significantly in size since its beginning three years ago and helps a multitude of Lowndes County families each month, which she says is a blessing both to the community as well as to church members who volunteer at distributions.
“Our average for the year would be probably 85 to 90 families a month,” Amber said. “We’ve noticed that a lot of them are coming on a consistent basis which is nice because we get to build relationships and keep up with people month to month and see how they’re doing and see if there are any updated prayer requests. We’ve definitely seen an increase the past few months, this past month we served about 115 families so it’s definitely proven to be a need in our community.”
Distributions are held at 9 a.m. every second Saturday at the site of the former Piggly Wiggly in White Hall. Those interested in receiving a distribution are encouraged to come earlier rather than later as distributions are first come- first serve until all of the food has been given away.