By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
BOWIE, Md.—Tracy Robison, director of New Song Bible Church’s Manna Ministries, coordinates a church-sponsored supplemental food program that gives 300 families a month a big boost to their food budget, offers church members a chance to do ministry and sews kingdom seeds.
Manna Ministries is the church’s name for their Angel Food distribution program. Angel Food is a non-profit organization that provides families with $65 worth of restaurant quality food for $30. As churches distribute the food, they’re building relationships with people in the community.
Several BCM/D churches are participating and using it to further God’s kingdom, to provide opportunities for their church members to minister and to show God’s love in their communities in a tangible way during difficult economic times.
“We have people come to know the Lord as a result of this ministry,” Robison said.
Robison knows what its like to get a hand up. She breaks down as she tells how she was introduced to Angel Food two years ago. She was struggling through bankruptcy and foreclosure and couldn’t feed her family. When she heard about Angel Food, she looked for a distribution site and the closest was Frederick. She and her son drove over 70 miles one way to get a box of food. On their first trip, they had a flat tire. Robison and her son changed the flat, a first for both of them. God used it all for His glory. Robison was late to the distribution and the church loaded her up with not only her own food she bought, but also all that was left over.
“I drove 75 miles to Frederick to taste and see the Lord is good,” she said.
Robison saw the incredible ministry opportunity Angel Food could provide for her community.
Just two months after that first trip to Frederick, Robison and her sister launched the ministry at New Song.
“The Lord laid it on the heart of eight other people to help and we started serving 20 families a month,” Robison said. Now the church provides over 300 boxes of food each month.
Deep Creek Church is also providing Angel Food and they’re seeing their church come together, meeting more people in their neighborhood, discovering needs and making the church known in the community.
Each month the church distributes about 75 boxes of food.
“It brings people together,” Lucretia ‘Lu’ Roby said. She and her husband Bill are the Angel Food coordinators for the church. Not only are people in the community being blessed, but also church members are building friendships and community among themselves.
Deep Creek church member, Paul Perrine, gets up at 3 a.m. on distribution day and drives a truck with a trailer 45 miles in all kinds of weather to Frostburg to pick up the food to have it back to the church in time for volunteers to prepare it for distribution.
Word about Angel Food and the church’s ministry is spreading through the area.
“I’m getting a lot of feedback,” Ben Lahay, pastor of Deep Creek Church said. “I was at a college speaking at a men’s event and a man came up to me and said, ‘Aren’t you the pastor of that church that has Angel Food? I just want to let you know my mother gets that and it’s a wonderful ministry. God bless you for doing that!’ People really appreciate it.”
Both churches buy extra boxes to give to people in need and to distribute through the community. Lahay said each month they put all the church members’ names, anyone who has purchased Angel Food and any visitors in a hat and draw three names. Each winner gets a free box of food. Lahay said it’s a great way to meet people in their homes.
Robison is planning a special Angel Food give-away for Christmas. She’s trying to raise $15,000 to feed 500 people in December.