Have you ever wondered where your next meal was coming from? Have you had to choose between paying your rent and utility bills or buying food? This is what it means to be food insecure and according to phillyfoodfinder.org, nearly 22% of Philadelphians fall into this category. As the poorest big city in America, it comes as no surprise that Philadelphia the holds the distinction of having the highest food insecurity rate in Pennsylvania.

That is why food pantries, such as the one at Calvary Christian Church in Northeast Philadelphia, are vitally important.

The idea for Calvary’s pantry took shape in July 2016, as Pastor Robert Fontell and his church assessed the needs of their community. Based on what they saw, the church understood that the  availability of food was a resource from which the community could greatly benefit.

Under the leadership of its Helping Hands ministry, approximately 50 families receive bags of groceries each week along an offer for prayer and an introduction to Jesus Christ. Many ask for prayer as they walk through the door church’s doors and multiple families have made decisions to follow Christ. This is what the pantry is all about: meeting spiritual needs while addressing a practical need.

Philadelphia’s poverty rate, coupled with the pandemic, provides an opportunity for Calvary to KNOW their neighbors; SHOW what it means to follow Christ through words and actions; and to teach them to GROW in all that Jesus commanded. How is your church knowing, showing and growing within your community?