People wait in 2-mile line for OpenDoor food bank
A local church holds a biweekly food bank that offers high quality food without extensive paperwork or IDs.
The OpenDoor Food Bank and OpenDoor Church started as a bit of an accident, according to pastor Troy Brewer’s website. Tim Bragg became head of the food bank last month.
“This is my passion,” Bragg said. “What OpenDoor did for me is they removed the stone from me so I could hear the Lord. It got me back to where I needed to be, and I want the people who come through here to have the hope that I had that OpenDoor gave to me. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
One of the fundamental characteristics of the food bank is its inclusivity. No proof of residency or finances are required to receive food.
“We do not shame anyone who comes to us for food,” Brewer said. “We don’t make them prove they need it by providing financial information. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t need food. And for those who say that it’s irresponsible to give food away with no strings attached, I say this: They can’t steal from us because we’re giving it away.”
Brewer said he tells the volunteers to treat everyone like they paid $200 to be there.
“If someone has a really nice car, that doesn’t mean anything,” Brewer said. “We don’t know how much longer that car will be theirs or if it’s even their car. We don’t judge who needs food and who doesn’t. Jesus says to offer help to anyone who asks, and we do.”
Terri Stocks heard about the food bank from a neighbor and has been visiting the food bank for about three years.
“I have 27 prescriptions,” Stocks said. “My husband works, so we make a little bit too much money to help out with the medical bills, so things run tight. This helps so much.”
According to volunteer Patty Thelen-Hall, another unique trait of the food bank that draws people in is that they don’t just feed people physically; they also get fed spiritually.
“They come here for more than just food,” Thelen-Hall said. “We offer a lot of love, and the love of Jesus. We lead people to salvation. Because we have the love of Jesus in us, we share it unconditionally. The people coming here get that.”
Taylor Murphy has been volunteering for about a year. Rather than hand out food, her favorite part is praying over people.
“We all just love to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” Murphy said. “We’re trying to show people light.”
It doesn’t take dedication from only the volunteers to make the food bank run smoothly. Cars start lining up for the Saturday morning event around dinner time the Friday night before.
By the time things get going Saturday morning, there are typically already 50 cars lined up. While the cars are waiting outside, the morning kicks off with a celebration led by Bragg.
“We’re not in the food business; we’re in the Jesus business,” Bragg said. “We need to thank the Lord for what He’s given us, so we set the atmosphere and invite Him in here. We don’t celebrate the food; we celebrate the eternal things that matter. That’s what this whole thing is about: Jesus.”