Centerville church expands food pantry to feed community

"There's definitely a need here in Houston County, we have a homeless population, and a lot of times you don't see it."

CENTERVILLE, GEORGIA (41NBC/WMGT)– Centerville United Methodist Church started their food pantry in a small 10×12 closet during the summer of 2020.  After seeing the demand from the community, Pastor Tommy Odum said the small space would not last forever.

“There’s definitely a need here in Houston County, we have a homeless population, and a lot of times you don’t see it,” Odom explained. “We also have a large population of people that just are not financially in a place where they can buy food the way that they need or that their families are larger than the average family.”

In 2021, the church moved out of the small closet and into their fellowship hall to expand their food storage to feed more people. After another year of serving though, they realized the fellowship hall space was also too small to accommodate the need.

“We serve 500- 600 people, and 200-300 families. Like I said last year we did 100,000 pounds of food so that’s about 15,000 people throughout the course of the year if not more.”

In 2022, the church dedicated the Tom Shell Outreach Center on its property to feed 5,000 people a little easier.

“I am just tickled pink, I think this is what god wanted and I feel like it’s Christmas every time we open our doors.”

The church now has enough space to store shipments of food from the USDA and the Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank. According to the Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank, they’re now 1 of nearly 200 food banks across Middle Georgia.

When families go through the line at the church, they can get things like snacks, cereal, and other canned goods.

To get the food, just fill out a form with your name and how many mouths you need to feed. Then a church volunteer will load the food into your car.

The food pantry will be open again on Wednesday, February 9.

Categories: Featured, Houston County, Local News, WMGT

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