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Christian Mission benevolence counselor Tonia Lewis and food service director Joel Fussell are preparing for a drive-thru distribution program that starts next week.

The Christian Mission Centers in Enterprise, Elba and Geneva will offer a drive-thru distribution program featuring food boxes and milk beginning next week.

People can receive one box of food per week and up to 2 gallons of milk.

“We are very blessed,” said Tonia Lewis, a benevolence counselor for the Christian Mission in Enterprise. “Borden’s Dairy, initially, gave us the donation of milk. Less than a week later, we got the donation of the produce boxes from the Wiregrass Area Food Bank in Dothan.”

The Enterprise location at 231 Geneva Highway will distribute the food and milk on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-5 p.m.

The Elba location at 342 N. Court St. will be distributing Thursdays from 1-5 p.m. The Geneva location at 801 E. Town Ave. will distribute Tuesdays from 1-5 p.m.

Recipients do not have to qualify for the food boxes and milk. However, those who aren’t in need are asked not to participate.

“We were pretty excited,” Lewis said after learning about the program. “We had to work out some of the logistics as far as manpower to handle it and ways to divert traffic so we’re not blocking part of the roadway, things like that.”

Joel Fussell, food service director for the Christian Mission in Enterprise, is already mapping out the pickup plan, which will start Tuesday.

“They’ll pull in off Geneva Highway and pull up here,” Fussell said. “We’ll have a table set up by that Mobile Attic. In there, we’ll have the coolers and the milk and the produce. We’ll probably get 450 cases a week.”

Fussell added that Wiregrass Area Food Bank executive director David Hanks said this program will continue for the next six weeks, but that the government could extend it beyond that.

Fussell will pick up the food from the Food Bank in Dothan on a Christian Mission truck.

“The government is getting it to the food bank, and we’re being their hands and feet to distribute them,” Lewis said. “We have the trucks we use at the store for pickups. God just laid it all in line for us.”

Of course, it’s up to the mortals to keep social distancing guidelines intact during the pickup hours. Patience will be required.

The Christian Mission’s everyday work will continue. It feeds three hots meals a day to walk-ups. It also provides meals on wheels to the homebound and the elderly three times a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Lewis said.

“We used to do that only on Mondays and Thursdays, but when the pandemic hit we felt we needed to bump that up,” Lewis said. “We still have our utility assistance, our rent assistance, housing assistance, whatever is needed.”

The Christian Mission’s food pantry continues its outstanding work.

“I think right now food is the greatest need, with housing being second because of having to pay rents and mortgages and being unemployed,” Lewis said. “Utilities, those have been forgiven for a little while as far as no disconnect notices, but we see that coming to end soon. We know that’s going to be a great need.”

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