BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When the historic flood hit in August of 2016, one small Baton Rouge church became an escape for those fleeing the rising waters.
Thousands used Community of Christ church grounds as a food donation site for the displaced, but after the immediate need was met, the church was left with two tons of food. So they decided to start a long-lasting program.
Now, James Faulkner says the congregation has taken on a brand-new mission.
"After a while I said, why are we just letting this go to waste? Why don't we do something with it?" Faulkner said.
The small congregation, with less 20 members, enlisted the help of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and the idea to feed the hungry was born.
"This is everyday normal people who have been through a bad time that just need a helping hand to get back on their feet," Pastor of Community of Christ Church Deana Ward said.
Just by simply bringing an ID and proof of income, once a month people who live in Baton Rouge can shop for free.
"They come in here and they get the food they need to keep their family going, and they're so appreciative, ya know. Some of them are just in tears by the time they get the first item," Faulkner said.
The food bank is open to the public every second and fourth Sunday, sticking with the premise that no mouth goes unfed.
"If you say you're hungry, we're gonna give you food," Ward said.
But little did one church member know, she would also be on the receiving end.
"Without the food bank helping us with the pantry, I wouldn't be able to have food in my house," Cathy Coats said.
"To have opened up a food bank that can feed a hundred families a month is beyond what we could've imagined our capabilities to be. But as we have stepped out, everything we have needed has been in place as we've needed it," Ward said.
The small church on Antioch Rd. hopes to extend the faith-based claim that you might enter a church in need but leave fulfilled.
"It just doesn't make sense for this day in age for people in the country, especially in the community as close knit as Baton Rouge is, that people are going hungry," Faulkner said.
The Community of Christ Church Food Bank is still in need of donations such as toiletries and cleaning supplies. To find out how you can donate or become a recipient click here or call the Community of Christ Church at (225) 756-2707