New Birth Missionary Baptist Church hit an impressive — but sobering — milestone over the weekend, distributing free food to its 1 millionth person since the pandemic started.
DeKalb County resident Priscilla Ward was the unexpecting recipient of the Stonecrest megachurch’s landmark accomplishment. She was surprised with confetti, household appliances and a $1,000 check.
“I feel wonderful. This was a surprise of a lifetime,” the 69-year-old Ward said, according to a press release. “I’m just overwhelmed by the joy of the Lord.”
New Birth launched its food pantry, The King’s Table, in March 2020. It initially served 30 families each month but quickly expanded to hosting weekly food distributions that drew thousands of cars each Saturday, officials said.
More than 100 partners have helped make the distributions a reality. They include the DeKalb County government, Stonecrest Cares, Slutty Vegan, PETA, JD’s Vegan Ice Cream, the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, Amy Witherite, Publix, Sysco, Cigna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lowe’s, Pepsico, Hormel and Tyson Foods.
“The persistent truth is that mounting food insecurity for families and seniors continue to be a solemn reality as our global markets continue to sputter, rising inflation rates challenge our checkbooks and the looming threat of a recession constricts our economic outlook,” New Birth Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant said in the press release. “The power of people, when we come together, can truly move mountains.”