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Outreach effort feeds bodies and souls
by Steve Beavers
Nov 16, 2013 | 299 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Geri Roberson (right) helps Arren Blalock get a box of meals ready to be delivered.
Geri Roberson (right) helps Arren Blalock get a box of meals ready to be delivered.
Smiling faces greeted those there to help.

The "Taste of Hope" done for a second year by Oakland Baptist Church filled needy individuals with the love of God, according to numerous volunteers on hand to help.

"We have learned a lot from last year," said Oakland member Chris Botting. "Things have gone much better … God has blessed us with so many people to help."

Botting and fellow church member, Michal Ann Spencer, came together for the idea to help those in need with a Thanksgiving meal last year.

This year "Taste of Hope" was done two weeks prior to the annual holiday. Church volunteers worked together preparing a meal of lasagna, green beans, corn, roll and dessert to be delivered to needy families in the area on Saturday.

"This year we shifted gears and went where the needs were," said the church's Jamey Bragg.

Randy Holt and Ben Chaney made up one of the 15 teams of two making deliveries.

"The need is greater than I thought," said Chaney. "I went to some places I didn't know existed, but it affected me in a positive way … we met the need for a lot of elderly people."

Holt said the people were truly appreciative.

"Most everyone asked us to pray for them," said Holt. "We did and told them we were only a phone call away."

Holt, who took part in preparing food for the event last year, enjoyed getting out to meet people as a deliverer.

"I like the end result," he said.

So did all involved in the effort to help over 1,200 people with a free meal.

"It makes you feel very humble," said Geri Roberson of the steady flow of people. "We have seen a lot more people this year and it was a chance to pray and encourage each of them."

No people were turned away by the church.

"We are serving people as long as they keep coming," added Botting of the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. event. "This is a joy to do something for the Lord … it's so much fun to see Him change people lives."

Those in need had a choice of dining in, picking up or having meals delivered.

"The ones making deliveries came back with smiles on their faces," said Bragg. "People were so happy to receive a meal."

Spencer said the goal was "to get out and get it done" before meals became cold.

"We didn't talk about numbers this year," she said. "We just trusted God to meet the need."

Last year, over 500 meals were prepared by the congregation.

On Saturday, routes were shortened with each team taking around 20 meals at a time. Stops were made from Walnut to Burnsville and even to the Tennessee state line.

"The routes were kept small so each team could give individual attention and pray with people," said Bragg.
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