The Avenue Church had cars backed up U.S. Highway 77 for its 40,000-pound food giveaway at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.

“We wanted to give back to the community as a church and help build it up – make it a better place,” Avenue Church pastor David Brown. “We thought what better way than to give out food to people, no strings attached – come as you are. We’re giving out 40,000 pounds of food to anyone who needs it.”

Volunteers from the Avenue Church, Open Door Church of Joshua (Texas), Waxahachie Care and the community loaded trunks and backseats of cars with food from 40 pallets weighing about 1,000 pounds each.

Basketball players Zabdi Cuellar, Diego Suarez, Charles Banks and Titus Williams from Life School in Red Oak were among the volunteers serving. They said they were doing so to give back to the community and help the church spread the love of Jesus.

Volunteers gave out canned and packaged food, dry goods and non-perishables, frozen chicken, fresh vegetables and produce and packs of water bottles. Vehicles also received information bags with contact information for government and ministry assistance programs.

“With giving out food, we prayed for them and told them how much we do care about them. Not just that they come to our church, just that we can give back to them,” Brown said.

Cars began lining up by 8 a.m., starting at The Avenue Church’s office building on YMCA Drive and snaking along the drive and through the parking lot for the church’s main building.

“About one year ago, at a pastor’s conference in Joshua County, we heard they were giving away food about every two weeks and had tons of people showing up,” Brown said. “We thought about Ellis County and the difficulties people were having with the economic problems. We decided to give away food to people.”

The Avenue Church partnered with Open Door Church and Waxahachie Care to plan and organize the giveaway.

Hundreds of vehicles were given bags of food from the pallets lined up in front of the church building. The vehicles then exited to a crowd of church cheerleaders telling them how much they loved them and praying for God’s blessing on their families.

Contact Aaron at 469-517-1456 or a.schwaderer@wninews.com.