By K. Levek
It’s 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday February the 5th and the line outside of Brighter Day Church is long. There is a long line of people waiting in the cold to get warm food and clothing. Brighter Day Ministries has just re-opened its annual food and clothing bank.
The church, located at 421 Alabama Ave. SE, hosts the weekly food bank Tuesday through Thursday during the hours of 12-3pm. February 5th was its first day back open and they were open a little past 3pm due to the large amounts of people.
Many of the church’s members who participated in the food bank were volunteers and said that working in the church is so rewarding because they are truly giving back to their church family and their greater community.
When people enter into the doors of the church they are greeted with a warm smile and given a ticket number. From there, they are directed into the churches basement cafeteria where they receive warm coffee and wait for their number to be called. After their number has been called, they are paired with a volunteer who takes down some basic information about them. Attendees must be District residences and produce proof of DC residence before they are admitted to partake in the food and clothing drive.
One of the participants said that he has been coming to the food bank for nearly a year. “I am so appreciative of this church and what they do for me and my family,” said Rob Jenkins.
The pastor of the Brighter Day is Reverent Ernest Lyles. He said that his church has served over 5,000 families last year with the food panty and hopes to surpass that number this year. “We have an ambitious goal and I am confident with God’s help we can reach and surpass last year’s numbers.”
The pastor emphasized that he and the church are committed to serving the Congress Heights community, where the church is located, but also the greater SE residents. The pantry is open to all District residents and he wants to see the program grow into the overflow!
*Names in the story have been changed to keep recipients of the food bank anonymous.*