First Congo Food Justice Ministries
Memphis has a lot of hungry people. In fact, in 2011, a Gallup poll indicated that Memphis had more "food insecure" people -- that is, people who didn't know where their next meal was coming from -- than any other city.
We decided to do something about it. We started small--offering sandwiches, drinks, etc. to people who stopped by the church. And then we took the next step--offering a meal to people twice a week.
The next step was a big one! We decided to partner with the Midsouth Food Bank to provide groceries once a month to as many people as we could serve. Our first "distribution day" welcomed 40 or so folks. Within months, the number grew to about 400 families. We realized we had to do more.
Cafe Congo is a weekday lunch program. Monday through Friday, from 11:00 - 1:00, folks come by for a hot lunch. We serve about 400 people each week in a beautiful area we renovated with the help of church volunteers and gifts! Food is donated by local restaurants and schools, or prepared by volunteers using food from the Midsouth Food Bank and additional groceries that we purchase. We are proud to say that the first thing we serve to each person who comes is respect!
The Food Pantry
Rather than distributing groceries just once a month, we are now open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We offer a variety of foods from the Midsouth Food bank and serve about 150 households each week.
How Can I Help?
Mark Ratay serves as our Director of Food Ministries. He hopes to keep expanding our community lunch program along with the food pantry ministries. You can contact him at Mark.Ratay@firstcongo.com if you'd like to volunteer or have food that you can contribute.
Your financial gifts make an incredible difference! Go to the "Donate" page and make your contribution online!