[StBernard] First Baptist Church of Chalmette has food pantry available to help those in need: Keeping the Faith

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue May 14 08:20:54 EDT 2013

First Baptist Church of Chalmette has food pantry available to help those in
need: Keeping the Faith

When First Baptist Church of Chalmette began its food pantry almost five
years ago, the Rev. John Dee Jeffries, pastor of the church, felt it would
be a way to help people in St. Bernard Parish who were struggling to make
ends meet.

"We have a significant percentage of our population in St. Bernard who are
still struggling in the aftermath of Katrina and the BP Oil Spill," Jeffries
daid. "In the immediate aftermath of these events the resources were in
abundance. But the number of families who need help is increasing."

First Baptist Chalmette's Food Pantry partnered with Second Harvest Food
Bank of Greater New Orleans and Wal Mart. More than 30 volunteers staff the
food pantry and perform various functions including collecting food,
interviewing clients and packing boxes of food.

The pantry gives out 20,000 pounds of food each month and provides services
for about 100 families weekly, Jeffries said.

Food pantry clients must be residents of St. Bernard Parish and show proof
of income. Once they register with the pantry clients can come once a month
to receive food.

Food items that are distributed include canned food, fruits, meats, and

The food pantry hours are Tuesdays 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to
noon. Volunteers also work during this time as well as throughout the week.

"The food pantry allows us to help people who need a little extra help,"
said Carol Saling, who serves as director of the pantry. "This is our (First
Baptist Church of Chalmette) way of giving back to the community."

First Baptist Church of Chalmette holds food drives throughout the year to
collect food for the pantry. Local businesses and other agencies also play
vital roles in making donations to the pantry, Jeffries said.

"I'm so proud of First Baptist Church of Chalmette and the role it is
playing in helping the people in St. Bernard Parish," Jeffries said. "And
the people in our church have really embraced the food pantry and their
dedication is what keeps it going."

The food pantry is a door that opened for First Baptist Church to serve the
community, Jeffries added.

"God opened the door, and we walked through it," Jeffries said. "And once we
walked through that door we saw so many good people who are the salt of the
earth who need help. And through this ministry we are helping meet that

Volunteers are needed , and you don't have to be a member of Frist Baptist
Church of Chalmette to volunteer.

The food pantry is located at the church, 305 East St. Bernard Highway,
Chalmette. For information call 504.277.2939.

And speaking of First Baptist Church of Chalmette, the church is still
enrolling children, ages 15 months to sixth grade, in its summer Kidz Kamp
which begins June 3 and continues through Aug. 9. Camp hours are 9 a. m. to
3 p.m. Before and after care will be available.

For information about the camp call the church office at 504.277.2939.

Earl Hodges writes about news and events at houses of worship in St. Bernard
Parish. He can be contacted at earlhodges at msn.com or 50.4.887.4721.

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