By Sylvina Poole
The Good Shepherd Baptist Church (GSBC) in Petersburg, Virginia upholds its long-time mission through food bank distribution to serve the Tri-cities area.
“Our mantra for ministry is building a church, community development, service expansion, and impact on people’s lives,” stated Bishop Jefferey L. Reaves, Sr., senior pastor at Good Shepherd. Chesterfield Food Bank distributions feed thousands every month. With the collaboration of Good Shepherd Baptist Church, this latest initiative with the food bank distribution mission comes into being, he said.
Founded in 2012, the faith-based non-profit Chesterfield Food Bank (CFB) wants to feed and empower those in need in the community. We couldn’t work without everyone who volunteers their time to ensure the success of our daily activities and the weekly newsletter. CFB’s mission is, no one should go hungry and therefore is committed to fighting hunger in the community.
The partnership with the Chesterfield Food Bank began because of GSBC request from the church leadership to provide the same food services offered in Chesterfield in the city of Petersburg. Good Shepherd Baptist Church is located at 2223 S. Crater Road in Petersburg.
Highlights about the first distribution on April 21:
Chesterfield Food Bank will distribute food to hundreds of families on April 21, 2021, food-insecure people can come to the Good Shepherd Baptist Church at 4:00 pm, and they will be given food for a week. The Food Bank believes in helping as many local people as possible, and it always needs volunteers. Masks and gloves are provided for this event.
This initial food distribution expects to serve between 300-400 people.
“During the isolation from the pandemic, we know how people suffer from hunger. They are unemployed, and the need for food is increasing 300 times. We have tried our best to serve the people of Chesterfield in the city of Petersburg. And with the help of cooperation, we hope to expand our range soon,” Reaves said.
He added the church isn’t really attempting to send a message solely.
“In terms of messaging, we’re not really trying to send them. We simply believe in the ministry of Matthew 25 and the ongoing need to remember those who are least served and marginalized, especially when it is not their own fault. So, we want to ask everyone to help people either through volunteers or donations. Your one penny can make a big difference in the lives of these people.”
Bishop Reaves spoke candidly on his thoughts as the City comes out of the pandemic lockdown.
“Covid-19 is likely to have an irreversible impact on the way we work. But the way we live, communicate, and move around the world will also be different. It will take time to get out of the pandemic lockdown. The city has already changed dramatically because of the Covid crisis. By ensuring sustainability and fair recovery from the lockdown, we can make the future and our city a better place. By working closely with business and local communities, governments around the world have taken urgent action to protect the well-being and health of our citizens.”
For those in the community who want to lend a helping hand, go to the Chesterfield Food Bank website and register to become a volunteer in Petersburg Distribution, or send a donation. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, food needs have increased to over 300%. And we all have a role to play to make a difference and help our people stand out, he pointed out.
Reaves went on to explain how Good Shepherd Baptist Church survived through the pandemic lockdown.
“The Churches have the social responsibility in such circumstances to be the conscience of the nation. The Good Shepherd Baptist Church survived through the pandemic lockdown due to our proper care and responsible staff. We have followed all possible ways to keep this holy place Covid free. In a lockdown, we have followed social distance and mask-wearing SOPs.”