• Beltsville News

Emmanuel United Methodist Church Continues to Feed their Neighbors By Rick Bergmann

Updated: May 27


MaryAnn Vaughn and Mekai Nichols wait for the first cars to begin showing up for food on a cold February morning. Together they coordinate the food bank at Emmanuel.

In May of 2011 Emmanuel United Methodist Church began a program to help its neighbors who were struggling. They began what has become as the Emmanuel Food bank, a program where once a month on the 4th Saturday residents can come by and get food completely free of charge. They get fresh items, meat, and canned and shelf stable foods to take with them each time. This program has been a lifeline to many in the Beltsville Community since it’s inception 11 years ago and it continued on during the worst of the pandemic.

Although the format and delivery of items has changed over the years, the mission of the food bank remains the same: to provide food to anyone who needs it, no questions asked. When they began many years ago, much of the food was donations but they have since become partners with many local businesses including Chick-Fil-A and Aldi’s. They are also a member of the National Capital Food Bank. Each month, volunteers give their time to pick up food, unpack and shelve items and create bags to be given out at the monthly giveaways. During the pandemic they served an average of 200 families a month. They are a model of what Jesus said when he stated in the book of Matthew “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

This dedicated group of volunteers gives selflessly to help their neighbors in need. With the cost of food prices going up due to inflation, more people are relying on food banks like the one at Emmanuel. If you need food assistance, there is no shame in coming and receiving the gifts from the Emmanuel Food Bank. The next monthly giveaway is on Saturday, May 28. Seniors are served from 8 to 9:30 am and everyone else is served from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. If you would like to volunteer, reach out to the church at office@eumcbeltsville.com.

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