by RICH ZECK When you go to the store to shop for groceries and spend $30, you get $30 worth of food. This sounds reasonable. But what if I told you, you could spend $30 on food and get $60 worth of food? Sounds too good to be true? It is true and you can do it right here in Rockford. Rockford Baptist Church is the local home to Angel Food Ministries (www.angelfoodministries.com) which is a non-profit, non-denominational national organization dedicated to grocery relief to communities just like ours. The program started in 1994 in Georgia with just 34 families and now has grown to serve thousands of families every month in over 17 states. What makes this program so unique says coordinator Jeannie Davis “is there is no prequalification. The only qualification is that you eat food and have $30.” Rockford Baptist Church is the central delivery point along with four other local churches that co-op their resources and place an order once a month. Here is how the program works: a couple of times a month, orders and payments are accepted at the church. Then on the last Saturday of the month, the orders arrive at Rockford Baptist Church for pick up. Each month’s menu is different from the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items. The meals offer a balanced nutritional variety with enough food to feed a family of four for a week. These are not second hand items, damaged goods, out dated, dented cans, over ripened produce or day old bread. The quality is as good if not better than what you find in any other store except it costs you less. There are also specialty boxes available for senior citizens, steaks, pork, chicken, fruit and vegetables. Deacon Ray Wenzel states, that Angel Food Ministries is an independent outreach ministry that provides a service for the community regardless of your income. Over 100 families are served each month at this pick up location. Remember there is no need to justify or qualify your need; there are no strings attached and no fine print. There are 30-40 volunteers that make this process run like a well-oiled machine. There are volunteers who handle the orders, unload the truck, separate […]
Rockford Baptist Church
by PASTOR LARRY ROWLAND Rockford Baptist Church Almost 300 years ago, an English child was named Jonas in the Hanway family. Jonas did not have an easy childhood. His father died while he was just a boy, forcing him to go to work as an apprentice for a merchant. As he grew older, Jonas was able to do a great deal of traveling throughout the world, buying and selling merchandise for his company. On one of his business trips, Jonas discovered a device that had been designed to shield a person from rainfall. He thought this invention to be perfect for his rainy homeland, so he brought one back with him to London. For 30 years, Jonas Hanway used this invention that he called an “umbrella,” carrying it around with him wherever he went. Words fail to describe the ridicule that he faced. Almost everyone who passed him on the street called him names. Young boys often pelted him with eggs or cabbages. He was written about in the paper as “the umbrella man.” Yet Jonas persisted in carrying his umbrella with him. Finally, after three decades of ridicule, some other brave souls began to carry umbrellas. Today, it’s difficult to find a person walking in London without an umbrella on a rainy day. It was Jonas’ persistent example – enduring ridicule for decades – that has made a practical difference in the lives of millions of people even to this day. And in the process of enduring the humiliation necessary to introduce the umbrella to his country, Jonas developed generosity and character. The opening line of his Wikipedia article describes him as “an English philanthropist.” Depressed economic conditions are causing hardships for many families. At this time of year, the winter seems to be lingering on and on. Perseverance is a needed virtue. But persistence not only helps us to endure hardships. It can also produce beautiful character in our lives and bless the lives of others around us.