Cape Girardeau church holds after-school feeding program

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Bethel Assembly Church in Cape Girardeau held a USDA at risk after-school feeding program was held Tuesday at Arena Park.

This was a chance for families with children aged three to 18 to receive free food for each child. 

Every Tuesday at Arena Park from 3:30-5:30 p.m. families can receive seven suppers, seven snacks, and one gallon of milk per child.  

This free food program started off as something for Pastor Phil Roop of Bethel Assembly to try for four months. It has now been going on for almost two years. 

“I thought maybe we’d do it for four months and after about four months I saw there was such a great need,” said Pastor Phil. 

Pastor Roop says he believes this program helps to take off the edge on families. 

“Families that come through that you can tell that there’s a need,” said Pastor Roop. “This just takes, in my opinion, an edge off.” 

This free food program helps families and inspires volunteers such as John Swofford, a resident buddy of Teen Challenge, who is happy to help. 

“It’s unexplainable really,” Swofford said. “I could come in a bad mood and I start serving and leave with an awesome mood like I don’t it’s unexplainable helping so many people out is really cool we come on out.” 

Swofford has felt and seen the impact of this program. 

“You can touch 15 families and they spread the word and then next week there are many more families,” said Swofford “And then it just builds and builds and now we’re serving up to 500 families almost.” 

Swofford, who graduated from the Adult and Teen Challenge program, says that this feeding program is their way to show love. 

“We just ain’t doing it for the benefit, it’s to benefit others it’s a way to show the love that we have for the community,” said Swofford. 

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