Sunday, March 8, 2009
GOT CHURCH? Family Baptist Feeds Soul AND Body In North Minneapolis
Last Sunday, I attended church with Peter Teachout, the Chair of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Association, and his family. Peter was always trying to get me to go and, well, it was a potluck that finally pushed me over the fence...
This is the church that helped individuals who were evicted from "The Apartment Complex of Anarchy," giving those folks supplies and helping to haul their meager possessions to other housing. While I was at the church potluck, I found out about their Wednesday night "Food Ministry." It's pretty simple: folks who attend Wednesday night service are given a grocery bag of food.
According to the guy in charge of the "Food Ministry," this distribution isn't massive and, indeed, every week it seems like there is precisely enough, and no more. It was my feeling he actually wanted to avoid publicity, out of fear too many would show up and there wouldn't be enough to go around. (Well, I say, time to break out the loaves and fish and start praying for a miracle)
The way it was explained to me, the food ministry has a very random element; food is picked up from corporate donors, and who knows what it will be? One day everybody gets noodles and as much yogurt as a family could eat for a week; it's more potluck than the church potluck.
Oh, I should mention where this church is: 2201 Girard Ave. N. The Wednesday night service is at 7 PM.
Now is a good chance to mention an important law that languishes in obscurity: the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donations Act. This federal law protects stores and restaurants from liability when they make food donations to non-profit organizations involved in food banks, soup kitchens, etc. I'll say more about this law in another post at another time, because Monica Lewinsky comes into the story and, well, I don't want to tell that particular story in a post about a Baptist church, with a stained glass window as an illustration.
Suffice to say: The Bill Emerson Law is a great law, and what a shame it's so badly publicized, especially during the current recession.