St. Luke Missionary Baptist church gives out 150 boxes of Thanksgiving food to those in need

Annette Thomas, left, opens a car door so Robert Strozier, right, can place a box of food in the car at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton on Saturday.
Annette Thomas, left, opens a car door so Robert Strozier, right, can place a box of food in the car at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton on Saturday.

The line of cars wrapped from the back of the church and overflowed onto North Gettysburg Avenue on Saturday.

The cars were at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church to pick up Thanksgiving food donation boxes. A total of 150 boxes were available to people in need in the Dayton area for Thanksgiving on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Last year, St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton gave out 50 Thanksgiving boxes.

Ellen Dudley, mission president for the church, said the church was able to give out more this year through a grant from Montgomery County.

Cars lined up at St. Luke's Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday to pick up food donations. At some points, the line spilled out of the church parking lot.
Cars lined up at St. Luke's Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday to pick up food donations. At some points, the line spilled out of the church parking lot.

“This year, the need is greater, with the situation that is going on,” Dudley said.

She said there are people out of work from the pandemic, people who are sick, people who are facing shortages because stores have run out of what they need, or people who have jobs but struggle to make ends meet.

The boxes had a turkey and all the sides for a Thanksgiving dinner inside. Each was meant to feed a family of four, but Dudley said the boxes could feed more.

People who came to pick up the boxes had to preregister by calling the church. Additional cars who pulled in were directed to a different donation day or told they would have first dibs at the Christmas food drive the church also is planning.

Annette Thomas, right, stacks boxes of food to give out to people in need at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday. Behind her, Ellen Dudley, center, and Lillian Towles, left, place turkeys in boxes.
Annette Thomas, right, stacks boxes of food to give out to people in need at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday. Behind her, Ellen Dudley, center, and Lillian Towles, left, place turkeys in boxes.

Elizabeth Taylor, a longtime church member, said she was happy to help on Saturday because she said, “people need it.”

“People are here and don’t have jobs or people don’t make enough, so this is a good thing,” she said.

The Rev. Renard D. Allen Jr. of St. Luke Missionary Baptist church said he was happy to be able to provide food to so many people in need, but wished they could do more. He said they were following Jesus’s example when he provides food to those in need, but also is able to provide spiritual guidance.

Allen said he hoped other Dayton-area churches who are able to afford it would also do food drives, or work with St. Luke to give out food to even more people.

“I wish we could do a thousand (boxes) and provide enough to feed everyone in the neighborhood,” he said.

To contact St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, call 937-279-9322.

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