Church food bank making impact in rural Jackson County

RIVES JUNCTION, Mich. (WLNS) — A mid-Michigan food bank is restocking after a big opening that helped hundreds of local families in need.

6 News stopped by the food bank to see how it’s helping the hungry in rural Jackson County.

It looks like a mini grocery store.

But it’s actually a church’s latest effort to reach the community.

“People are going through tough times,” said Lead Pastor Dyke Cyphers. “We want to help preserve some of the dignity and not make them feel like they’re here for a handout.”

Rives Baptist Church in Rives Junction just built a special room to accommodate its growing food bank.

Its opening day was Thanksgiving.

“Last Thursday we had 96 families come through, which represented about 380 people. The back parking lot was full of cars and it was so neat to see people. Some of them had to wait two hours in line,” Cyphers said.

The location of the food bank is a big part of the church’s mission.

Often times, a lot of people who live in rural areas, like Jackson County, have a hard time getting the help they need.

“We’re about 8 miles north of Jackson and 6 miles south of Leslie, so it really is out here in the middle of nowhere,” Cyphers said.

The food bank is open Thursday mornings.

But families are asked to come just once a month so organizers can keep up on stock and help more people.

The food is purchased using church funds and donations.

“We get to buy food for 19 cents a pound from the South Central Michigan Food Bank. Whether it’s chicken, cereal or peanut butter, we can buy it a lot cheaper than people can buy it,” Cyphers said.

The lead pastor says it’s important for the church to practice what they preach by helping people in need.

“God has blessed it and it has grown exponentially,” Cyphers said.

If you’d like to help out, visit this link:

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