The feeding of the poor and the proclamation of the Gospel through the Absolutely! Free. Hunger Prevention Food Distributions reminds me of the story of the few loaves and fish with which Jesus fed the multitudes (Matthew 14:13-21 and 15:32-38). As a fellowship, we have long had it in our hearts to tangibly bless the poor, not to just say, “bless you!” and continue on our way.

Our first attempts at distributing food to those in need began in 1987. We raised and dressed 1,000 chickens and distributed them through a local service agency. We raised taters. We were learning how to fulfill His command. Over the following years we used various other strategies to reach those in need. They all worked to one degree or another and always changed our hearts. We continued to pray for ways to feed others and the Lord led us step by step according to His faithfulness.

In 1992 the Lord revealed to a member of our prophetic team that He was about to bring in tons of food to distribute to the needy and the fellowship was to prepare to distribute it. The eldership sensed this was from the Lord and called a fellowship meeting to explain what was about to happen along with an exhortation to prepare. Within 30 days the Lord provided us with a load of frozen pastries and surplus potatoes as part of His provision to feed the poor. We were thankful it was January in Vermont! That allowed us to store the pallets of frozen food outside while we rejoiced at His abundance!

Our first Absolutely! Free. Hunger Prevention Food Distributions featured potatoes we had sorted and bagged, along with muffins and croissants baked by the women of the fellowship—and frozen food! The grateful response of the many who came caused our faith and vision to grow, and as we asked, the Lord added many resources so we could more adequately care for His people. We also purchase food from the Vermont Foodbank and several area producers regularly donate surplus food and products. At times, we have also grown food on land made available by local farmers and organizations. We distribute over 100,000 pounds of food each year. And every pound is given Absolutely! Free.

Several years ago the Lord directed us to also serve an Absolutely! Free. meal as part of our distributions. Our facility to share the love of Jesus has been greatly enhanced as a result. Today we average nearly 200 families at our biweekly distributions, many of whom stay to enjoy a simple but nutritious meal.

Our distributions are Absolutely! Free. just as His gift of salvation is through the Lord Jesus Christ. As we continue to ask, we believe the Lord will continue to show us how to further extend His love and care to those we live among—we are all His sheep.