PORTHENRY - Realizing hunger exists in the area, a Ticonderoga church is embarking on a new food program.
The Ticonderoga Assembly of God Church will distribute free groceries 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at Mountain Time Furniture and Auctions, 2997 Broad St. in Port Henry.
"We realize their is a need," explained Rick Harker, a church trustee and owner of Mountain Time Furniture. "There are a lot of pressures on people to pay for heat, medicine and other bills. And we recently lost the discount grocery store in Crown Point that a lot of low-income people relied on."
Hot and cold box cereal; juices; canned vegetables, meats and fruits; condiments such as mayonnaise, pickles and artificial sweeteners; snacks such as cookies and crackers; boxed dinners and deserts; soups; and drinks such as soda, Powerade and Gatorade will be available. No one will be turned away.
"There will be no cost," Harker stressed. "We won't ask for a donation or anything else. It's totally free."
There are no geographic boundaries. The only reason the food distribution will be in Port Henry is because of the availability of the Mountain Time facility.
While everyone will be served, Harker said, the church is particularly concerned about senior citizens.
"There seems to the greatness need among seniors," he said. "A lot of people (age) 55 and older are struggling to pay heating bills, buy medications and buy food. We'd like to help them."
The food is coming from a Christian warehouse in Utica that works with churches to distribute groceries to the poor. Church members are asked to volunteer at the warehouse in exchange for the right to purchase the food at a reduced cost, Harker explained.
The local program is being led by Pastor Sheridan Race of the church, located on Water Street in Ticonderoga, but all its members are taking part.
"We're a small church; we have about 25 members," Harker said. "But every member has taken an interest. There's no problem finding volunteers in our church."
Ticonderoga Assembly of God volunteers hope to identify those in need and develop relationships during the March 8 food distribution.
"Our vision is to see where the needs are, see what's going on and develop a relationship with people so we can begin to deliver food to their homes as needed," Harker said. "It will be an on-call service. When someone needs food all they have to do is call and we'll deliver it."
For information call 572-1291.