Eleven years ago, East Hills Moravian Church started a freezer ministry to provide meals to members or neighbors in a time of need. Frozen meals were also made available when others in need came knocking at the church door.
Over time, East Hills’ meal production expanded to approximately 3,000 meals a year. When Covid hit in 2020, the church began partnering with other Bethlehem congregations and together they produced 22,000 meals that year. The Bethlehem Area Moravian Freezer Ministry was born.
Presently fourteen congregations are part of this vital ministry and working to ensure its future. The East Hills’ kitchen continues to be the place where they prepare, store, and then distribute meals.
Thanks to your generous gifts to the Hunger & Thirst Field of Interest Fund, East Hills received $44,500 in 2022. How is this money having an impact? Bob Wingrove, the coordinator for the Freezer Ministry, shared:
Thank you for the equipment that helps us cook and package more effectively. A 10-burner pilotless stove was installed, the commercial vacuum packer has been placed into use, and the griddle is soon to arrive.
Thank you for saving East Hills Moravian money and natural resources. The cost saving from not using 22 pilot lights will be substantial.
Thank you for helping us expand our ministry. We’re in the process of approving and placing two freezer units or ‘freezer outposts.’ The first is going to an individual who produces about 4,000 meals with her church-based group that distributes to Allentown’s homeless and less fortunate. She uses almost all our excess food items, creating a near-zero waste scenario.
The second outpost has just gotten approval from the Lutheran Manor in Bethlehem. They currently receive a monthly Freezer Ministry delivery. This freezer will provide for an onsite source of emergency food throughout the month to low-income seniors. The emotional support of this program goes beyond a meal.
Brother Wingrove also shared a few stories of those who are being fed by the Freezer Ministry. As you might image, that food is much more than just the literal meal.
One of our volunteer’s dad is a school bus driver. He asked if we could help one of their young drivers. He and his wife had separated from the stress of two autistic children ages 7 and 4. The father had no money for food for the next two weeks for him or his children. He would be okay in two weeks when he would receive a check from an extra job. Share in his gratitude for the meals from the Freezer Ministry.
From our friend who is blind and helps us label the food containers with the help of a volunteer from Edgeboro Moravian. He lives on his own. We are working on a simple braille-like system to identify the soups. He loves them. He said he doesn’t care what kind, he likes them all, and it’s kind of a mystery what he will be eating. Regardless its more than just soup for him.
We served about 100 of our street neighbors and others at a monthly picnic and free vegetable stand. We had apple pie as it was our Applefest. Share in their thank yous. Share in a day that was just a little better than an average day of homelessness.
The Bethlehem Area Moravian Freezer Ministry is always open. Open to anyone who needs a meal and to new opportunities to serve the community and our Lord, Jesus Christ. We give thanks for the dedicated stewards of this important ministry!