There’s a new meaning to the phrase “taking action.”
Area Churches Together In Our Neighborhood, or A.C.T.I.O.N., is a group of 10 churches that have provided food to residents in need around the Haughton and Princeton area, a project that started more than three decades. Frankie Cole, A.C.T.I.O.N. committee president, said their mission is to share the love of Christ and provide food to deserving families.
A.C.T.I.O.N. is run by volunteers and supported by Haughton area churches, including Central Assembly of God, First Baptist Haughton, Galilee Baptist, Love Chapel United Methodist Church, Sunlight Baptist, Fillmore Baptist, First Baptist Princeton, Haughton United Methodist Church, Southern Methodist and Wesley Chapel C. M. E. A.C.T.I.O.N. is funded by donations from the local churches, individuals and generous store owners.
The volunteers hand out food twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, and have Senior Day one Friday a month. Each box weighs approximately 45 pounds and contains non-perishable food items as well as essentials like flour, sugar, eggs and butter.
Janece Johnson picked up her grandmother’s box of food Friday morning at the A.C.T.I.O.N. office, located across the street from First Baptist Haughton on South Hazel Street. Johnson said the food comes in handy, especially towards the end of the month when food typically starts running low.
“It’s a blessing. There’s peace knowing she has food and I never pass up a day to get it for her,” Johnson said on behalf of her 75-year-old grandmother.
At the end of October 2012, Cole said there were 319 families signed up for services through A.C.T.I.O.N. Even though all of those families may not collect food every time, she said they will still serve about 200 of those each month.
In 2011, A.C.T.I.O.N. handed out 2,138 monthly boxes, including 186 Thanksgiving and 186 Christmas boxes. However, Cole said 2012 has been their busiest year yet with more than 2,200 food boxes handed out to date – an astounding comparison to the 200 boxes they did in 2001 for the entire year.
The A.C.T.I.O.N. food bank is seeking community donations of non-perishable food items, such as canned meats, vegetables, rice and beans, to fill their monthly boxes as well as any monetary donations to offset the cost of purchasing food at a wholesale location. Due to increased prices on food items and a higher demand for food boxes, Cole said they have spent more money than they have received, dipping into what little reserve funds the group has accumulated through the years.
Fred’s Super Dollar in Haughton recently made a monetary donation to the Haughton Police Department in the amount of $931.14 from the sale of Hero Hats. From there, police chief Rodney Farrington handed over the check to Cole for A.C.T.I.O.N. to use.
“We are here to help the community,” Farrington said. “It’s the right thing for us to do.”
Without that support, Cole said there would be no food to give.
All applicants must be residents of Haughton and Princeton and meet specific guidelines for governing income. For more information on A.C.T.I.O.N., contact Frankie Cole at 949-3368.