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Local pastor sets up free food pantry to help feed the hungry

MATOACA, Va. – A Matoaca pastor who was inspired to help others in the community, is doing just that with a free mini food pantry to help feed the hungry.

Ryan Atchison, Pastor at Matoaca Christian Fellowship, said the food pantry is for anyone who has a need. The box is located in the parking lot of the church at 7700 River Road in Matoaca.

“If you have a need, just swing by and grab some food, you don’t need to call ahead,” he said.

Pastor Ryan Atchison

Pastor Ryan Atchison

Atchison said he was inspired after learning more than half of area kids are on free and reduced lunch and reading about a similar food box in Oregon.

“I knew we needed to do more to help families that were struggling, so in addition to our regular food pantry and weekend backpack program we decided to add this box,” he added.

Atchison said he also knew he needed to do something after reading an article about teens trading sex for food.

“I couldn’t let that happen on our watch,” he said. “We can make a difference in the lives of these families.”

So that is exactly Atchison has done with what he calls the “Boaz Box.”

“It’s named after the Old Testament character who had large fields of grain and when it was harvest time, he would leave the corners he harvested so people who had a need could come and help themselves,” he explained.

food-pantry

The free food pantry just went up Friday, but it has already been a big success.

Atchison said he has had to refill the box nine times since Friday and he’s already received many food donations from community members.

He said they the church is accepting donations of nonperishable items like canned goods, peanut butter and jelly, and sealed items.

“If you need a blessing, come and get one. If you are blessed, come and leave a blessing,” said Atchison.

If you would like to contact Atchison or Matoaca Christian Fellowship about donations, click here or call 804-590-2375.