By Megan Miller, Editor
BIRMINGHAM – Serving You is making an impact in a local school system where students often don’t have enough to eat.
Serving You sponsors a backpack program for local elementary schools where they pack two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and a snack to sneak into the student’s backpack during recess on Friday so they don’t go hungry over the weekend. The ministry is now expanding this to include high school students, while simultaneously teaching them to serve others.
“There’s nothing for the high school students,” John Gibson, Executive Director of Serving You, said. “Even though their brothers or sisters may be getting some food, they’re getting nothing.”
After toying with the idea, serving you moved the backpack ministry to a local high school, allowing the students to stock the food pantry, and also pack and deliver the meals every Friday to local elementary schools. The high school students are also able to take home hygiene products they might need through the initiative.
“It gives them a way to learn how to serve and meet needs in the community with the understanding that some students in the school will come into the food pantry secretly, one-on-one with a counselor to fulfill some of the needs they might have,” Gibson said. “They’ve taken good initiative.”
Gibson also said the Hewitt-Trussville High School culinary class has jumped in to help by making soup during class with ingredients provided by Serving You.
“We have a client choice food pantry here for food needs, and they can take some of the homemade soups and all they have to do is warm it up,” Gibson said.
In addition to offering food services, Serving You also assists with reconciliation, development and relationships.
“Number one is we’re faith based, so we want to restore broken relationships in Christ through prayer, through showing love and deeds,” Gibson said. “Maybe they’re divorced, maybe they’re a widow, maybe they’re a single mom that can’t make ends meet, lost a loved one, house fire, anything that would be considered a crisis. We help them immediately with financial relief, food relief and clothing relief.”
The development side covers work and education.
“That may be for someone that hasn’t lost a job but they haven’t had a job in a long time,” Gibson said.
Gibson said the job development program encompasses resume writing, mock interviews and more, and requires participants to participate for eight hours a day over the course of the nine day workshop.
Local affiliates of Serving You include Christ Church PCA, CrossPoint Baptist Church, Faith Community Fellowship, First Baptist Church Center Point, Grace Community Church at Deerfoot, Church of the Highlands, NorthPark Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Pinson, First Baptist Church Remlap, Ridgecrest Baptist Church and First Baptist Church Trussville.