If you are about to start a food distribution program that will meet the spiritual and material needs of people in your community, you are about to embark on one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. At our Friend Ships facility in Southern California, we collected and distributed, free of charge, more than sixty-five million pounds of food to the poor since the program was birthed in 1985. The food is distributed to those in need through churches, locally based Christians and other Christian organizations.
The program is operated on a minimal budget and with no cost passed onto the distributing churches or organizations. It has met physical needs of hundreds of thousands of families and individuals and has drawn thousands of people into a relationship with their local church.
In addition, the outreach has mobilized people who are already a part of the body of Christ and they have become active in the work of advancing the Kingdom of God by demonstrating His love.
Wherever you have people, churches and food sources, you can operate a successful food ministry if you depend on the Lord with a motive to advance the Kingdom of God and work diligently to meet the needs of the poor.
Each ministry has a unique character and is an individual walk with the Lord. However, throughout the years we have learned basic methods of operation that may benefit those initiating or enlarging a food program in a major metropolitan area, a small city or a rural area. This material is written in response to requests to share what we have learned about the operation of such programs.
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About the Author
Don and Sondra Tipton are the Founders and Directors of Friend Ships Unlimited.Friend Ships is a Christian humanitarian aid organization that has sailed ships throughout the world delivering relief supplies, carrying out disaster relief and conducting medical missions in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. The organization and its team work in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods and in the course of wars, famines and extreme poverty. The organization has been in service since 1983.