Feed the Souls program gives more than material items to those in need

Lifehouse Church and Mercy to Others Ministries collaborated on the project

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One local church is looking to give more to those in need than ever before.

“We just want them to know that we're here for more than just giving them something because this is not going to last forever,” said Shelia Athey, the Outreach Director for Lifehouse Church West Virginia.

Lifehouse church in Martinsburg is looking to "Feed the Souls." That's what they call their food distribution program held on Saturday.

We call it feed the soul because we're feeding your heart and your mind and the spiritual for whatever you might need,” explained Athey.

More than a dozen people turned up to receive food and warm clothes. Those who stopped by, also received warm wishes and spiritual guidance.

“We're really blessed to be able to give to so many people today, a lot of families came through today,” said J.D. Cardwell, pastor of the church.

“One of the thing that's wonderful is being able to see people who are just people that you can talk with that you can share life with [and] that you can joke with [and] that you can actually get to hear their story,” said Cardwell. “And sometimes when you get to hear their stories is when you say 'hey can I offer you some prayer?'”

Athey says they felt that giving after the holidays would be of most help to the community.

“It is after the holidays and people need things after the holidays. This time of year, it's [more] important to make sure that people are able to access what is necessary for them to feed their families,” she explained.

The Feed the Souls outreach program has been growing steadily since the first food distribution date in early December. They have now partnered with Mercy to Others Ministries to reach more people. But organizes say it's not about how many people do or don't participate.

“It doesn't matter if one person comes or 200 people come at least we're able to help somebody,” said Athey.

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