Flint church food ministry reaches it's limit, expansion necessary

Flint church food ministry reaches it's limit, expansion necessary

FLINT (KYTX) - The food ministry for st. Mary magdalene church is running out of room --and needs more space fast. It's exponentially larger than it was when it started six years ago. 

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains what challenge that is presenting -- and what can be done to meet the growing needs.

When St. Mary Magdalene was built six years ago, classrooms were built to give the congregation a christian learning environment for its children five days a week. But now with the food ministry spilling throughout the church, it's been impossible to hold class. Since there's no sign of the need for food slowing down, the church is looking to find a way to offer both food and education.

Just outside these classroom doors are tables lined with bread, sweets and fruit that will be given to east Texans in need.

"It's the work of the Christian to feed the poor," said church Pastor Father Tim Kelly.

Volunteers at St. Mary Magdalene open up their doors each Wednesday to people who need a hot meal. Six years ago it was only about half a dozen people -- now its as many as 200.

"They come to us and hug our neck and thank us for the prepared meal, and that's all I need," said volunteer Irmgard Baker.

The families who show up also take home food from the food pantry -- but that takes space. The church stores food in the kitchen and pantry -- and in the hallways outside the five classrooms.

They were built to hold pre school -- but with the hallways full of food-- there's no way they can open up the school to hold class.

"We've never been able to fulfill our goals of being an education building.But god gave us the poor to challenge us, and we met the challenge by putting off our other plans so we can feed god's poor," said Father Kelly.

They're thankful they're meeting a need -- but not sure what to do about their education plans.

"We're going to feed the hungry regardless of where we're at, but it's a little hard when there's two things that want to be in one location, one space.

They're looking at all the options for the food ministry... An affordable or donated rental space, or a new property. And they're hoping for contributions to make it happen..

"They are here for the food, but they are staying and repeatedly coming back, because of the compassion that we give," said volunteer Sandra Thompson.

Father Kelly said, the solution isn't clear, but he has faith everything will work out.

The good news is there is a little time to solve this problem. The plan is to get the school up and running in the next 10 months. So from now until then, they'll be working to find a permanent solution. If not, the school may again have to be postponed.


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