WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A Warner Robins church needs help collecting donations for students in town.
The project starts inside Southside Baptist Church, where volunteers come in to pack Blessing Bags full of extra goodies like Gold Fish, oatmeal, and even crackers.
It's something they then take out to the community to give to students who need an extra snack for the summer.
Every year, church leaders and volunteers, like Robbie Coleman, collect food items for underprivileged students in the area.
"I couldn't imagine, at times, potentially not having enough or giving that to my kids. So, it's a huge blessing just to be able to just be a part of giving back to our community and making sure these kids are being taken care of when the school is not feeding them," Coleman said.
Coleman says, during summertime, students aren't getting their meals at school. So, that's why 'Blessing 478 Bags' came to life.
"We often times go through Warner Robins, Perry, Houston County, and we don't necessarily know the people who live right near us, and there's people who have needs and desires just like you and me, and I think just going to see people where they live and where they're at, just helping to meet those things is a beautiful thing," Coleman said.
Volunteers deliver the donations to students on Red Fox Run, Feagin Mill Road, and in Perry. But, according to Pastor Jeremy Emory, this year, donations are down.
"We know that right now, more than ever, there is a need with inflation and high gas prices. We know that food is just as expensive now as it ever has been. So, we wanna say, 'hey, how as a church, how can we do that? How can we help?' A lot of people are struggling as well in our churches, but to see their continued generosity just encourages me as a Pastor," Emory said.
So, they're asking for your help.
"Also, if we see there are other needs that they have. We serve them. If there is a need in a home or a family in need that they know of, so if there is a need that needs to be met, we try to serve them. We pray with them. We share the Gospel with them. That's one of the things that we care about is that they know who Jesus is," Emory said.
"We don't want people to be like, 'oh, look at us.' We just wanna be there and be able to continue doing this and to continue helping out our community," Coleman said.
So, he's asking next time you head to Kroger or Target, pick up an extra bag of water bottles, crackers, or even raisins.
Southside Baptist Church's Warner Robins campus is off Houston Lake Road.
The Houston County School District also offers free meals this summer to children ages 18 and under.
They offer meals through either pickup at one of six schools or mobile routes for specific neighborhoods.