The First Baptist Church in Chanute handed out more than 500 boxes of fresh produce and about 1,000 gallons of milk on Friday after receiving a donation from 180 Disaster Relief out of Tulsa.
Pastor DJ Dangerfield found out about the nonprofit through his work with the Tulsa Dream Center, which routinely hands out food to people in need.
“When I first got here, I wanted to make this the church of food,” Dangerfield said. “Since August of 2017, we have given out over 2,500 sacks and boxes of food. The thing I want everyone to know is this is not a dignity thing. Everyone here handing out food has received a box of food. I have a box for myself sitting in the corner. If you are in need of food, we’re here for you. There is no judgement.”
The 180 Disaster Relief program donated $22,600 worth of fresh produce and milk to the church. Dangerfield said they have a few more trucks scheduled over the summer.
“With all the food we have been able to gather and distribute, it has been a huge blessing. We have four more trucks coming through the summer. I met these guys through work with the Tulsa Dream Center and I let them know there are food shortages out here in rural Kansas,” Dangerfield said. “This is some really good stuff. This produce here is all brought in by farmers; it is very fresh. You can’t buy produce this fresh at the store.”
The food that was dropped off Friday by 180 Disaster Relief came neatly packed in boxes, taking away a lot of extra work.
“Coming into this, we didn’t know how the food was going to be delivered. Since we are having to take the boxes out to the cars, we’re already sweating. But this just couldn’t have worked out any better. We just grab a box, grab as much milk as the person needs, and bring it to them,” Dangerfield said. “This really is a blessing.”
It wasn’t just Chanute residents who reaped the benefits of the truck. Dangerfield made sure to deliver milk and food boxes to the food pantries in Iola and Moran, as well as area daycares.
The church and Neighbor2Neighbor have a couple of events scheduled for today. Commodities will be handed out from 10 to 11 am, and Dangerfield said all restrictions have been lifted, so everyone is eligible to receive them.
Neighbor2Neighbor will be hosting its first free community meal of wthe summer today beginning at noon at Safari West Apartments.
They will be serving taco salad, baked potato, dessertw and water. Everyone is asked to remain in their cars. They will also distribute additional food.
FBC has also continued its hot meal Mondays, despite having to meet online for the services.
On hot meal Mondays, guests receive a free hot meal, followed by a service. After the service, they hand out bags of food to attendees. This event is scheduled for 6:30 pm.
“We’ve had several businesses throughout the community help us out. Colborn’s Kitchen has donated meals for this event, as well as several of the patrons of this church,” Associate Pastor of Administration Chelsy Bearden said.
Neighbor2Neighbor also distributes food on the first and last Saturday of the month from 11 am to noon at the church.