Ivor churches open food bank

Published 10:32 am Friday, April 13, 2012

Nancy Stephenson, left, and Mary Jones prepare donations for Bags of Hope food bank sponsored by Ebenezer and Millfield Baptist churchs in Ivor. See story and photos on B1. MERLE MONAHAN/TIDEWATER NEWS



IVOR—Two Ivor Baptist churches are providing food for area families.

Ebenezer Baptist on Ivor Road and Millfield Baptist on Millfield Road have started Bags of Hope food bank, providing canned vegetables, fruits and meat, and bread to about 100 people each month.

“They come from all around,” said Nancy Stephenson, food bank committee chairwoman from Millfield. “Most are from the Southampton County area, but we’ve had families from Surry, Sussex and even Franklin.”

“Anyone in need is welcome,” added Barbara Greene, committee chairwoman from Ebenezer.

The food bank helps people who’ve lost their jobs, and the disabled and elderly.

“You’d be surprised at how much this one bag has helped some of them,” Greene said.

The food bank is open the 10 a.m. to noon the third Wednesday of each month. Volunteers from each church pack the bags the night before distribution.

In addition to church volunteers, 15 to 25 students from Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Tidewater Academy help load food into cars.

The Southeastern Food Bank in Norfolk supplies much of the food, which is stored at and distributed from Ebenezer Baptist, said Stephenson. The churches also provide items when needed.

Some members go beyond the norm in their desire to help, Stephenson said. A freezer was recently donated for keeping meat, and the use of a truck was given for transporting food from Norfolk.

Another person donated 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Troop 108 in Gates County, N.C., in honor of the scouts’ 100th anniversary this year.

“We appreciate all the help we’ve received in operating the bank,” said Stephenson. “We saw a need here and are happy to have the opportunity to serve these needs in our community.”