“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, GA (41NBC/WMGT) – Centerville United Methodist Church opened its pantry in a small 10×12 closet in the summer of 2020. After seeing community demand, Pastor Tommy Odum said the small space wouldn’t last forever.
“There is definitely a need here in Houston County, we have a homeless population, and often you don’t see it,” Odom explained. “We also have a large population of people who just aren’t financially in a place where they can buy the food they need or their families are larger than the average family.”
In 2021, the church moved out of the small closet and into its communion hall to expand its food storage to feed more people. However, after another year of service, they realized that the community hall space was also too small to meet the needs.
“We serve 500 to 600 people and 200 to 300 families. As I said last year, we consumed 100,000 pounds of food, which is about 15,000 people throughout the year, if not more.
In 2022, the church dedicated the Tom Shell Outreach Center on its property to make feeding 5,000 people a little easier.
“I’m just tickled pink, I think that’s what God intended and I feel like it’s Christmas every time we open our doors.”
The church now has enough space to store food shipments from the USDA and the Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank. According to the Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank, they are now one of nearly 200 food banks across Central Georgia.
When families line up at church, they can get snacks, cereals and other canned goods.
To get the food, just fill out a form with your name and the number of mouths you need to feed. Then a church volunteer will load the food into your car.
The pantry will be open again on Wednesday, February 9.