GREENSBORO, N.C. — Daystar Church in Greensboro had plans to open a community center in their gym at the end of March but when the coronavirus pandemic hit their city, they pushed that deadline up to serve.
"We were planning to start at the end of the month," Dr. Allen Holmes, the pastor, said. "But with the crisis, man, we said, we've got to open today, people need our help now and this week we provided meals every day to hundreds of families."
On the first day of their outreach the church served hot meals and delivered to groceries to more than 400 cars that drove through the church's parking lot. They fed more than 1,100 people. Daystar teamed up with the Out of the Garden project to make it happen.
"They've lost their jobs so they can't get food and for Out of the Garden to be able to provide that, and working together for these families, it's huge," Dr. Holmes said.
Out of the Garden gets leftover food from local restaurants and distributes it to people in need. Now, Daystar is making that distribution happen. But Dr. Holmes said many of their partner restaurants were forced to close because of the virus and that could potentially limit the food.
"We will continue to give it away as long as we have it," he said.
Families can drive through to get food at the church at 1806 Merritt Drive on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting at 10:30 a.m. If you'd like to help serve, visit daystargso.com and you'll find a link on their homepage.
Dr. Holmes said the church is moving most everything online during the outbreak to keep their community connected. They're streaming services online and offering more outlets for people to find faith in the crisis.
"Really in our culture, people are already pretty isolated so this has just made that worse," he said. "We're doing everything we can to combat that by trying to help people connect and doing it virtually."
The church offers three services online on Sunday at 8:00, 9:30 and 11:10 a.m. They're also streaming live prayer and words of encouragement on their social media pages every day at noon.