For the past 28 years, Living Word Christian Center in Augusta has ministered to low income families in need.
Each Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., residents gather at the center at 3018 Old McDuffie Road to pick up free groceries.
The weekly ministry is a part of the center’s Benevolence Outreach program that provides fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and snacks to those at poverty level. The U.S. Census Bureau reports a 25.4 percent poverty rate in Richmond County.
Sadie Alfred, director of the program, said the program services to up to 170 families each month.
Alfred said the mission, which requires clients to fill out an application identifying their eligibility, is a joint partnership with Golden Harvest Food Bank and Kroger to feed the hungry.
“We wish that no child should go to bed hungry,” she said.
As part of the program, eligible residents are required to visit the center during its operational hours to collect goods.
“We give out all of the food from the pantry,” she said.
In March, Angela Harden, a community activist and radio talk show host, partnered with the center to deliver food to seniors in the region.
“We have also join forces with Pastor Angela Harden, our community activist, that has a heart for the seniors,” Alfred said as volunteers packed boxes of goods into Harden’s van last Wednesday.
Alfred said Harden’s involvement mirrors the center’s mission. She described her passion as a divine favor.
“I think it is a blessing in that it tells us that we’re all doing the same thing,” she said. “We’re all one body and one entity working toward the same goal of feeding the hungry.”
Prior to Harden’s partnership with the center, Dorothy Williams, a 77-year-old Augusta resident, relied on her nephew for groceries. With Harden delivering food to her door each week, Williams said it takes the burden off her nephew who traveled from New York each month to help her get the food she needs.
“My daughter died three years ago and I didn’t have only but one child,” Williams said. “So it means a lot to me because I’m handicapped and I don’t have nobody in the area to do anything for me.”
For Patsy Burton, the service allows her to substitute the hours it takes for her to shop at the grocery store, and spend them assisting her husband who was recently hospitalized.
“He’s handicap and he had a stroke and this is a way to get it done without leaving him,” Burton said.
For more information about the program contact Sadie Alfred at (706) 798-0123.