st james

As part of its mission to serve others, a local church is stepping up to help out those in need.

While addressing the additional health concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, St. James Episcopal Church in Alexander City has found a creative way to feed community members. 

Starting today, church staff will convert the parking lot outside St. James into a food distribution center for its new pilot meal program called Soups To-Go.  

Soups To-Go will kickstart its outreach efforts from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at 347 South Central Ave. every Tuesday this summer. A cup of hot soup and a half-sandwich will be available by curbside pickup and walk-ups.  

St. James Rector Rob Iler emphasized the program is open to all those in need.

“This is a new pilot program and we will see how the need is through July and August,” Iler said. “If there is a greater need, we will absolutely expand our hours and operation. The more people that come, the more food we will serve throughout the summer.”

Currently, Soups To-Go is not seeking volunteers, but Iler said if the need arises, volunteers are encouraged to join. 

“If we have an overwhelming amount of people who need some help, we will consider expanding the operation to include volunteers as well,” Iler said. 

St. James staff will be practicing safe social distancing as well as the proper care for food concerning COVID-19 safety precautions. 

Funds to provide the program are being provided through the church congregation. 

Feast of Sharing, held in partnership with Alexander City First United Methodist Church, has served the community for the past six years but had to pause its free community meal program as pandemic regulations tightened and is still on hold.

“We have closed down our Feast of Sharing for the time being,” Iler said.

During this time, Alexander City First United Methodist Church has also continued to serve the community. 

First United Methodist Church executive pastor Bro. Mike Densmore said the Green Street campus will continue to offer curbside sandwich meals to those in need at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Contact Rita Jeroloman at ritajeroloman@gmail.com for more information.