Community Works Together to Feed All

by: Hamil R. Harris Special to the AFRO
/ (Photo by Hamil Harris) /
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Phelecia Nembhard can’t count how many times she drives a van filled with bags of groceries up and down Good Luck  Road.

Phelecia Nembhard and Rev Tammy Rinker outside Trinity Moravia Church. (Photo by Hamil Harris)

Even though she is a successful realtor, Nembhard’s passion to help others stems from the community work her mother did in Jamaica.

Even on Mother’s Day after service at the Trinity Moravian Church in New Carrollton, Md. Nembhard dropped off a couple of grocery bags before she went home have dinner with her three children.

“I am just going out in the community and sharing love,”  Nembhard told the AFRO as she stood next to her van that was filled with bags of groceries that is part of a food  distribution network that involves churches, schools and non-profit groups in the county.

Rev. Tammy Rinker, pastor of Trinity Moravian, said Nembhard is part of a valuable ministry that is available to anyone who calls the church.

“The food pantry can be a balm in the community to soften the hard places of  life,” Rinker said. “We just want to go out in the community and serve.”

In New Carrollton, Nembhard works with Claudia B. Walter, who works with the faith-based community and is affiliated with the Capital Area Food Bank and two  public schools – Suitland High School and Charles Carroll Middle School where food is distributed.

Anne White, mission outreach coordinator at Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Capital Heights, Md. said:  “It is all about helping one another. I grew up in Dover, Del. and I used to go out with my grandfather when he did community service work.

“We are trying to bring more healthy food in the 20743 zip code,” said White, who is a member of the Community Food & Justice Coalition, which is made up several community leaders dedicated to distributing food.

In May The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) made a three-year commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America to expand its food distribution program.

“Partners in the Capital Area Food Bank’s network rely on them to ensure families get the nutrition they need,” said Larry Soler, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America. “We are proud to partner with this vital organization to ensure that when our friends and neighbors find themselves vulnerable to food insecurity, the food banks and pantries they turn to provide the kind of nourishment – including fresh fruits and vegetables – that contributes to their health and wellness.”

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