City Serve brings food for local churches

City Serve brings food for local churchesSubmitted by TARA PACKER

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Several months ago, the Lighthouse was able to partner with a Bakersfield organization called City Serve. Their primary purpose is to provide donated items to churches which then allow churches to reach out to people in need within the community and introduce them to the love of our Father.

As the pandemic hit and continued for months, the government started a Farmers-to-Family program which paid the farmers to donate their food rather than throw it away. City Serve became a HUB for distribution and called us to see if we would like to come to Bakersfield and pick up some food. We jumped at the chance and brought back 70+ boxes of fruits and vegetables.

As the program grew, City Serve called and said if we could connect with 10 churches they could arrange for a semi-truck (1,200 boxes) to be delivered to Ridgecrest each week. We jumped at the chance, and started reaching out to the community. Within a very short period of time we ended up with 27 churches and the Veterans participating from Trona, Ridgecrest, Inyokern, Lone Pine and Kern River Valley. The Fairgrounds opened their parking lot for delivery and distribution and they provided a forklift and driver all free of charge. Volunteers show up weekly not because they needed food, but came to help.

We received weekly deliveries for about 6 months but as things across the country started to open, the program reduced in size and when the delivery contract was renewed in November, the company that won the bid could not deliver this far south. That ended deliveries for us.

The program is rebid every 2 months so we keep praying that it will open back up for us but to date that hasn’t happened. But God did hear our prayers this past week. Because of the holiday weekend the trucking company had so many cancellations that they contacted City Serve to see if they knew of anyone who could except delivery. City Serve contacted us on Friday asking if we could handle a delivery of two semi trucks (2,592 boxes) on Monday which was a holiday. The churches, veterans, fairgrounds staff, and other volunteers made it happen. The truck arrived around 9:00 and all the boxes were distributed by 12:30. It was tough as many of the pallets had shifted and broken so there was a lot of hand off-loading versus using the forklift but there was not a single complaint.

This program has been such a great example of God answering prayers and such a comfort to see how He is working in our community and pulling churches and organization together in unity to help one another. There were definitely some struggles each week but every participant was kind, loving, patient and such a wonderful example of the type people that live in our little towns.

Pictured: Two semi truck loads from City Serve delivered food boxes for local churches at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds on Monday. — Photo By Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2021-02-19