As helpers of our surrounding community, there is nothing we want to do less than help our fellow people. That is what inspired the minds of the Tuscaloosa District Youth Department of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. From the ages of 12-17, these youth decided to raise can goods and donate them to the West Alabama Food Bank to help beat world hunger.
According to the West Alabama Food Bank website, they are a non-profit organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger and food insecurity. Through other agencies, they have distributed more than seventeen million pounds of food. This is the second year that the Tuscaloosa District Youth Department has teamed up with the West Alabama Food Bank.
In researching about the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church through their website, the church was organized on Dec.16 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee by 41 former slave members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The church is a branch of Wesleyan Methodism and was founded by John Wesley in England in 1844 and established in America as the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1784. It is one of three African-American Methodist denominations. The church has an investment factor: A Changed People, Changing the World.
There are 10 districts up under the Church. Their mission is called to serve the present age as a sign and instrument of God's saving grace, making disciples for Christ, nurturing them through preaching and teaching the Word of God, through Christ-centered worship, prophetic witness, and effective service. The Tuscaloosa District is up under the direction of Elder Harton and the district as a whole in Alabama is under Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton.
With this idea of A Changed People, Changing the World, Jacqueline Snyder, Tuscaloosa District Youth Director, decided to bring the idea of starting the chance to beat world hunger through the West Alabama community. Snyder began what she calls "The Youth Ministry Canned Food Drive" in November of 2016.
The goal was to raise 1,000 cans. The first year of doing this got off to a great start, but they did not rise to their goal. They were shy of about 500 cans. According to Snyder, this was not going to be the last of their goal. With this determination in mind, she decided to do it again the following year.
On Nov. 18, 2017, the Tuscaloosa District Youth Department raised 1,000 cans and achieved their goal. The food was distributed to families in the West Alabama community. Along with raising the cans, Snyder decided to include a contest of what church in the District sold the most cans, they were going to win a trophy.
Last year the church that won was Porter St. Paul Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa Alabama in which Rev. Ernest May is the pastor. The following year they scored again collecting 227 cans. Snyder expressed that the can food drive will continue to hopefully reach their goal in years to come and that hunger will decrease.
Snyder is already planning for the next go round with this wonderful cause. Let us hope that this determination and willingness to help our community and the world will be spread for generations after generations to come. Let's Beat Hunger!