Serving the community since 1922

Church helps feed those in need

Westside Family Fellowship will host its monthly farmer's market on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 8 to 10 a.m. It is free and open to anyone that needs it.

The church will distribute fresh vegetables, fruit and other food like canned and dry goods, including rice, bread, oatmeal and other staples.

In collaboration with the Community Action Partnership of Kern County, the church can bring this help to the community. It is also a collaboration with many volunteers that help to make the farmer's market a success.

Pastor Johnny Martinez said, "We help those unemployed, underemployed, low-income families or others struggling to put food on the table."

He added, "This allows them to save money and use it for other purposes like gas, rent or utilities, whatever it may be."

Martinez thinks there is a great need in the community.

"I think that is why we always have a good turnout. People are trying to keep up with the economic situation we are going through. We also see a lot of seniors that come and take advantage of this program."

Martinez said they get good feedback.

"We hear that people are grateful, and by that, it signifies that we are filling a much-needed void."

Their efforts align with the values of the church.

"Our main goal is to represent Jesus Christ. According to the scripture, we are to love our neighbor, and sometimes it means just helping them with their needs."

Martinez believes that the church provides nutritional nourishment while spiritually feeding those who come.

"The scripture embodies the heart of our mission and inspires us to be of service."

It is a drive-thru event, and with their food box, they receive an uplifting Christian message that speaks about God's love.

Each market distributes almost 3 tons of food, if not more, to over 250 families.

Martinez said the food is for everybody, and no proof of income or ID is needed.

"Anybody is free to come. We service the communities of Wasco, Shafter, Buttonwillow, McFarland and Bakersfield.

It is also intended to encourage healthy eating.

"We do this to promote health and are happy to do that," Martinez said. "It is a rewarding experience, and we've been doing it since last June. We are still going strong and feel like we are making a difference."

The farmer's market takes place every 4th Thursday at 2150 Palm Ave. For more information, call 661-301-5979.


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