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'It's a blessing to have something': Pastors come together to hand out food in Macon

As people feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, local churches want to help. They handed out around 10,000 boxes of food on Saturday.

MACON, Ga. — Five Macon churches decided to help those who need it most on Saturday.

Along with Middle Georgia Community Food Bank and United Way, they passed out 10,000 boxes of food. 

The financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Jeffrey and Latarria Merritt hard. 

"My husband is out of work, and we have grandchildren and a daughter," said Latarria.

When they heard about the food distribution, they made sure to get in line.

"They gave us two boxes. It's a blessing, so it doesn't matter what's in there. It's a blessing to have something," Latarria said.

A Kingdom Life, Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church, Community Church of God, Healing Experience Ministries, and World Changers all came together to give away 10,000 boxes of food.

"Groceries on the table. That's one of the best ways as pastors we can minister, because our churches are closed," said Community Church of God Senior Pastor Jason McClendon.

He said the boxes are full of things like chicken, milk, lettuce, canned goods and even some sweets and toys.

According to McClendon, people lined up as early as 5:30 a.m. to make sure they got a box. 

Macon-Bibb County is number three in Georgia for food scarcity. Plus with the local unemployment rate being around 25% right now -- whether workers got terminated, laid off, or furloughed -- that’s high.

Community Church of God even had free drive-thru COVID-19 testing. They were able to do 500 tests. That testing was just for people who are uninsured or have Medicare or Medicaid.

McClendon said they are hoping to give out food and conduct testing every other Saturday for the next couple of months from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Jesus went about doing good, feeding, healing, and serving people food, and that's what we're trying to continue here."

The Merritt family said they're grateful there are people in the community who want to help.

"There's a lot of people that really need help," said Latarria. "We are blessed to have some food to be able to feed our family."

RELATED: Five Macon churches plan countywide food distribution event this weekend

RELATED: Macon Transit Authority donates retired bus to food bank

RELATED: Grocery stores are NOT running out of food

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