In 2019, the River Region United Way gave the Montgomery Baptist Association a $15,000.00 grant to purchase and equip a school bus and convert it to the Love Loud River Region Rolling Store.
You may or may not be aware that the River Region of Central Alabama is considered a critical food desert, having large pockets of poverty (with major food shortages) abounding in the rural and urban areas of our communities (www.alabamapossible.org). Some of the poorest counties of Alabama are in our association or border our neighborhoods. The latest census reflects the following poverty rates:
– Montgomery County (21.3%)
– Lowndes County (25.9%)
– Macon County (30.6%)
– Bullock County (34.4%)
– Autauga County (13.4%)
– Elmore County (12.0%)
Could you imagine going to bed hungry? Could you imagine not having a grocery store to get food for your family easily? Could you imagine not having the transportation to get to a grocery store or the funds to pay for a ride? Many, especially in the rural areas, are not even able to get to our regional ministry centers in Montgomery, nor are they able to get medical attention due to the transportation factor. This results in malnutrition and poor health, often leading to premature death.
As Montgomery Baptists, we are going to do everything we can to meet the human need of our area, while planting the gospel seed. The Love Loud River Region Rolling Store is one response to the critical issue of hunger. The plan calls for the bus, in partnership with our churches, to regularly visit identified pockets of poverty in the region with its shelves filled with the Food Bank’s product. As we minister in Jesus’ name in the community, the bus will allow individuals to “shop with dignity.” Shoppers can select grocery items that the family prefers rather than being handed a bag of food they may or may not like. Prayerfully, the ongoing relationships will lead sinners to become saints. More churches will be planted in their community, bringing additional spiritual and physical food.