This week’s focus is on the APU partnership with Azusa Food Banks! This article follows a day in the life of Cory’s Kitchen and Foothill Community Church! Take a peek inside:
“Canyon Christian Fellowship Church ministers to over 200 families each month in need of food through the food bank provided by Cory’s Kitchen, a food distribution ministry. Every Monday three groups of students work alongside this food bank for 2 hours. The first group arrives at 2pm and helps unload all of the food delivered in trucks to the site. They begin the distribution of groceries into paper bags; they set up chairs where the community members will sit while waiting for their number to be called after registering to receive food. A second group of Azusa Pacific University students arrives at 5:00pm. They help with the final tasks of preparation before the community members arrive at 6pm to start the distribution process. Such tasks may be taking eggs, milk, and frozen goods out of freezers and refrigerator and bagging them. They also organize and package any extra donations from local stores, such as flowers or perishable foods from Fresh and Easy. At 6pm Maria, the pastors wife and coordinator of Cory’s Kitchen, greets all of the community members present. She begins with leading a devotional and closing with a prayer. Those that help at Cory’s Kitchen are aware that some people come not only in hope of receiving groceries, but are also seeking compassion and comfort that can always be found in the Lord our Savior. After the prayer and devotional, the community members move through each station in the food bank. There is a student volunteer is at each point in the distribution site. They help with various tasks including: distributing the bread, desserts, and flowers (if any) to each community member, placing different bags of food into a big container, and carrying the items to the customer. The last group of students arrive at 7pm and finish helping in the distribution process, which ends at 8pm. Then they help with the clean up process which involves wiping down countertops, folding chairs and tables and putting them away. Before leaving, all of the volunteers from the church and APU students get together in a circle and Maria presents words of appreciation. She also presents some of the highlights of the night, such as having a hairstylist give free haircuts to men, who have been refused service at barbershops because their hair was unwashed or due to their odor. Finally we close in prayer and offer all the work of the day to God, something that is always heartwarming.
The Azusa Food Bank ministry is also partnered with the soup kitchen at Foothill Community Church. Every Saturday this church provides a hot meal to members of the community, which includes mostly single men and women who are homeless. One group of students arrives at 8:30am and begins the food preparation. This usually involves preparing salads, coffee, drinks, or heating up food on the stove and baking. At 11:30am the first group shifts end and the second group of students arrive, after which the doors open for the community members to come in and sit at a table inside the cafeteria. Some of the students stay in the kitchen and help serve the food, while others are in charge of taking these plates of food to each person at their table. Students also make sure that there are always drinks available and provide seconds to anybody who wishes, when available. At around 1:30pm the clean up process begins. Some of the duties include dishwashing, which can be very fun using the nifty dishwasher. They also clean countertops, sweep, and clean tables. On site there is also a clothes closet where students also aid in the sorting of clothes and hanging them up on racks, while also helping direct the community members.
It is wonderful to see the students come partner with these food banks in Azusa and commit their time, energy, and enthusiasm to this cause. It is truly humbling to think less of ourselves and more of Him, to care for the less fortunate, the widowed, the orphaned, and all those who are in need.”
Ministry and Service exists to educate and mobilize the APU undergraduate community toward an active response in service that advances the work of God in the world. Azusa Pacific University sponsors a plethora of local and global programs, which prepare students to become capable leaders of service in diverse settings. To stay connected with what is happening in the local community, “like us” on Facebook (Ministry and Service) or “follow us” on Twitter (@apumas). Every year, over 1250 students serve through City Links, over 500 students participate in on-going ministry, and Justice Week.