(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A St. Joseph church is giving area families a helping hand to keep their pantries stocked this summer.
Turning Point Church of the Nazarene has begun hosting a weekly food drive for kids. On Fridays, families in need are asked to drive through the church's parking lot where volunteers will fill their vehicle with a week's worth of food for each child.
Each child will receive a breakfast and a lunch for seven days, totaling 14 meals.
"So many of them just say, 'Boy, you can't even imagine how much this helps,'" said Pastor Steve Longley, Turning Point Church of the Nazarene.
The new program just started last week. At the first food drive, volunteers served over 450 kids.
The meals are being driven up from a church in St. Louis.
“The church in St. Louis had more food than they could use. They looked up at our demographics and didn’t find any ministries like that in this zip code, so they contacted us and through conversation we decided this was something that really fit with our mission,” said Pastor Longley.
Drivers employed by Influence Church in St. Louis help distribute the meals all over the state. They said it's evident how great the need is as thousands of families face food insecurity.
“Oh yeah, you get to see a lot. You get to see a lot of people who really need it and meet a lot of people, meet a lot of good people,” said Quashawn Calhoun, driver.
Pastor Longley said this program is made to help families fill in those meal gaps until school begins.
The kids food drive takes place each Friday until the start of school.
The event goes from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.