From Where I Stand: Mark Garrett has served as senior pastor at the College Park Church of the Nazarene since 2004.
Twelve years ago, a small group of volunteers with the College Park Church of the Nazarene started a foodbank to serve our hungry neighbors. Early on, we knew this was a mission too large for us to tackle alone, so we partnered with individuals, other churches and organizations to work toward our common goal of keeping people fed.
Little did we know that 2020 would bring the largest pandemic in our lifetime. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment rates averaged 1.7 million in February 2020, peaking to 22.4 million in April and settling to 5.5 million people out of work in December – over 3 times the numbers of unemployed at the beginning of the year. The number of people we have been serving at the food bank has grown too; in February, we were feeding 100 families once a month, but we quickly started distributing every week to meet the demand. Now about 300 families rely on our food bank for support every week.
As the need has grown, so has the support from our partners. We could never have done this without the generous support of our community. From food drives, cash donations and the help of hundreds of volunteers — to the generous grants from the City of the College Park – you have kept us going.
Thank you, College Park. We expect the need to continue growing into the winter months, but we know that our community will be ready to support with food, hours of service and generosity of heart.