Mitchell Berean Church donates Thanksgiving meals
MITCHELL — The congregation at Mitchell Berean Church prepared 150 boxes on Nov. 17, filled with all the ingredients needed for a Thanksgiving dinner for families in Scotts Bluff County.
Forming a production line that led from the sanctuary to the parking lot, filling boxes with cans of vegetables, fruit, bags of flour and sugar and potatoes, dessert ingredients, stuffing, gravy and a turkey. The church members then took their boxes out for delivery in the community.
Pastor Giles Armstrong said the food came from donations by the congregation and through Safeway’s Turkey Bucks program. The program was originally something the church’s men’s group would do.
“We would go out and do 20 or 30 families,” Armstrong said. As the number of families participating grew, the program expanded beyond the men’s group. “One year, we had like 50 families but we only had 20 boxes, so we had a bunch of people jump in.”
The families the meals are donated to either request a box or are recommended by either a member of the congregation or someone else in the community.
“We’ve seen some economically tough things in our community over the last couple years,” Armstrong said. “There are a lot of people that struggle.”
By helping their neighbors, Armstrong said the congregation is following the example of Jesus.
“The Bible tells us that we’re supposed to be like Jesus,” he said. “When we read our Bibles, Jesus went out and loved people.”
Armstrong, who was born in Africa and grew up in the Middle East and England, said Thanksgiving’s uniqueness as an American holiday makes it perfect for giving.
“Most of the rest of the world doesn’t really have anything like it,” he said. “it’s always been impressive to me that a nation would take a day to sit down and say that family matters, people matter. Food is one of those things that we need, but it’s also one of those comforting things that can bring us together.”