More need help in economy’s tough times

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Brookhaven Outreach Ministries Inc. was started in 1988 by theRev. Jerry Durr and his family as a small way to help others. Sincethen, the ministry has grown to assist more than 6,000 needy peoplea year.

With a mission to ease the suffering of the needy and spread thegospel of Jesus Christ, Outreach Ministries includes a food pantry,medical facility, thrift store, women and children’s shelter andrecreation center.

The food pantry part of the organization is one that willbenefit from the Holiday Food Pantry Fund drive now beingconducted. Also to benefit are the Union Hall Baptist Church FoodPantry and the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church FoodPantry.

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The fund-raising drive was started last week by The DAILY LEADERand Bank of Brookhaven in an effort to help the agencies replenishtheir shelves and with costs throughout the year.

“Since the economic times have sort of gotten tough, it’s beenespecially hard on charitable organizations. This will really helpus to replenish after Thanksgiving,” said the Rev. Durr of thedrive.

The ministry’s focus is helping others, whether the economy isgood or bad, he said.

“The ministry is about looking through the eyes of God andsaying, ‘What can I do to help others,'” said the Rev. Durr. “It’slocal people coming together to help the needy here.”

During the Thanksgiving holidays, Outreach Ministries servedover 225 people in the community by giving out or deliveringturkeys, chickens and other food items with the help of youth fromFirst United Methodist Church.

The food pantry assists families all year, with approximately 75to 100 families a month receiving food. Families fill out forms toshow their needs, and the food pantry fills those needs with cannedfood, frozen food and meat.

“There’s quite a few families who depend on the food. By the endof the month, their food supply sometimes falls short,” said theRev. Durr. “The pantry meets a lot of needs in the community.”

The food pantry also helps those in immediate need, such asfamilies applying for food stamps through the Department of HumanServices but needing food during the seven-day waiting period.

“Also when transients come through town and they need food, wegive them food,” said the Rev. Durr.

Food is also donated to the food pantry from restaurants,businesses, churches, school groups and individuals.

The facility is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday throughFriday. Employees, volunteers and others from the community starteach day with a Bible class, which is open to the public, from8:30-9 a.m.


Friday: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic ChurchFood Pantry

Sunday: Union Hall Baptist Church FoodPantry