CINCINNATI — On Easter Sunday, instead of packing the pews, the Light of the World church packed the refrigerators and pantries of those in their community hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seats inside the church were empty, but members lined Lincoln Street to pass on blessings to the community in the form of groceries, cleaning supplies and fellowship.
They partnered with the Freestore Food Bank to give away 125 boxes filled with groceries like canned goods and nonperishable food items. To maintain distance, the church had people drive through while volunteers in masks and gloves placed the boxes in people's trunks.
"We are the neighborhood hope dealers," said Pastor Mike Scruggs, pastor of the Light of the World Church. "That's our task. That's our job. So we want to take this opportunity to remind people, even though Easter is not what we're used to seeing, there's still hope. There's still joy. There's still love. There's still peace."
On Saturday, the church also partnered with a local gas station in the College Hill area to give free gas to members of the community.
Scruggs said the church plans to hold another grocery store giveaway with the Freestore Food Bank sometime soon, and a "food pantry pop-up" with fresh produce later as well.