The 411 Food Fair

The halls of Israel CME Church looked like a grocery store at the Gary Faith Leaders and Community Partnerships’ food giveaway

Israel CME Church hosts travelling food pantry

Contributed By:The 411 News

Faith leaders collaborate to help city provide services to the community

Tables of fresh vegetables, fruits, breads, pastries, cheeses, and deli items made the halls of Israel CME look like a supermarket. Those who got to the church in Gary at the opening of Saturday's giveaway were able to take away some meats and toys, too.

Rain and snow didn't stop the hundreds who came to the giveaway sponsored by the City of Gary Faith Leaders and Community Partnerships, Inc., a collaboration of church leaders with a mission to help city government provide services to its residents.

The food giveaway is a twice a month traveling food pantry that will be held at different churches throughout Gary, in areas that don't have grocery stores, said Burgess Peoples, FLCP Board President. "Food is one of the major problems we see in Gary, with its food deserts. We want to be in the impoverished areas and in areas that we know don't have access to fresh healthy foods. Even working people might have food shortages between paychecks; they can come and get help."

Israel's food pantry was the second for January. The first food pantry was held at New Hope MB Church.

"Many Gary residents flock to their faith and community leaders in search of guidance and comfort in times of need, not knowing where to access city programs and services that can benefit them," Peoples said. "The new Faith Leaders and Community Partnerships will bridge this gap and support the valuable work our leaders already execute."

For FLCP, the help goes beyond food, extending to workforce development areas like job fairs and job skills training, education, crime, housing, the family, and mental health.

HOJO Family Assistance Program in Chicago provided the foods collected from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Panera Breads.

Peoples said sites for February's food giveaways will be announced soon.

Burgess Peoples, left, and Israel CME Pastor Octavious Wilson

Story Posted:01/28/2020

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