VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Volunteers at Courthouse Community United Methodist Church are taking a multi-faceted approach to fight hunger.
Every Wednesday evening, they serve a hot dinner and hand out bags of groceries from their food pantry in a drive-thru just in front of the church. They also have an outdoor "Blessings Box," and it's all free and open to the public.
“We have elderly people coming here down to young people in their 20’s,” described volunteer Guy Willis. “We have people coming through in their cars, of course, people on their bicycles and motorcycles. We have homeless; a lot of homeless people coming through that live in their cars.”
Willis says shopping, bagging, and organizing the schedule for the food pantry is his retirement job.
“Personally, it’s a real blessing to me. I’m so thankful that I am able to do this,” Willis added.
In addition to the donated groceries, Courthouse Community previously served a sit-down dinner to the public inside its parish hall. Jenn and Dave Kubica have been in charge of that project for about five years and wanted to find a way, despite COVID restrictions, to keep serving the community.
“It was a big transition, though, to figure out how are we going to keep doing this, because we know it helps a lot of people,” Jenn Kubica said.
Courthouse Community United Methodist Church is located at 2708 Princess Anne Road. Food pantry pick-up is from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., on Wednesdays as well as 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., every Wednesday. There’s also a “Blessings Box” outside the church, built by a local Eagle Scout, where neighbors can pick up grocery items anytime.
Organizers say they do plan a break for the month of August and are hoping to return to in-person dinners in September.
“Anybody can come check us out and eat with us - get food from the food pantry if you need it or just have a meal,” invited Kubica.
Willis said they have many generous donors including individuals, various churches including Essential Church, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, and Food Lion.