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Fitchburg church supplies ‘tangible needs’ with 35,000 pounds of free food

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 4:14 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A church in Fitchburg is reaching more than a thousand community members through a food drive.

City on a Hill distributed 35,000 pounds of food Saturday, the second time it has hosted the giveaway in a month.

“There’s a lot of people that are hurting and hungry, and more than just hungry, they want to know that somebody cares,” lead pastor Dave Jacobson said.

“I don’t have the money to buy the food,” Shawn Benson, a recipient, said. “Sometimes this is the way it helps out. I don’t have to spend so much on food. I can then concentrate on paying other bills.”

The shipments came from the Farmers to Families program. The church explained, as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local distributors.

Jacobson described the purpose of the event: “When Jesus walked the earth he was meeting tangible needs wherever he went. He was healing people, he was feeding people, he was caring for them. Our mission as a church is to follow in that example.”

For some volunteers, like Latasha Batiest, the sense of purpose was more personal. She said, “There was a time when I needed help. I was a young mother of two, and I was barely making $8 an hour trying to take care of two kids. It wasn’t easy, and it’s not an easy thing to say ‘I cant do this alone,’ but that’s the purpose of what we’re doing today.”

Some church members who helped give the food away also needed boxes for themselves. Jacobson said the church is working to reduce the stigma of receiving aid.

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