JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers don’t need to wait until a tornado strikes or flood waters threaten to serve their communities in Jesus’s name.
The DR network has partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture in a program that connects food providers to local nonprofits to feed the hungry. The USDA works directly with vendors and relies on local partners to deliver the food to local distribution points. Any non-profit can approach the vendors and apply for a contract to distribute produce, milk or meat. Missouri Baptists are delivering prepacked 25-lb boxes of produce. The first shipment of food – 44,000 lbs. of it in 1,760 boxes – was delivered to the MBC Disaster Readiness Center in Jefferson City, where it was loaded onto trucks to be distributed to five locations serving eight counties.
Gaylon Moss, who heads up Missouri Baptists’ Disaster Relief efforts, said it was a good illustration of partnerships even when there is no obvious disaster.
“It’s a bit out of the ordinary,” he said, “but we have the resources, the assets, and the mechanisms to do that. We want to be good partners, and it turned out to be a great blessing.”
Four more truckloads were scheduled for this week.
For a vendor, “to deliver the last mile is the hardest part,” Moss said. “That’s where the Church is in a wonderful position. We have direct contact with people in need. It’s not only physical health, but spiritual help as well.”
Moss said the Disaster Relief network was scheduled to participate through Aug. 30, at which time the government will decide if the program will continue into the fall.