GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Jamie Badgerow never imagined the bag of groceries she bought four years ago would grow into an outreach she’s now the coordinator of. She was simply following her heart and trying to live the mission of her church, City Church Greenville.
“In the word of God, it says that if you know someone needs a need and you don’t meet it, that your religion means nothing,” Badgerow said.
Earlier that day, Badgerow was in a Greenville neighborhood with a group from the church helping a family who needed a new roof. One of the neighborhood children recognized her from their church outreach programs and wanted Badgerow to meet their family. Opening the door to that home, opened the door to the City Church Greenville Food Ministry.
“One of the kids opened the fridge and all that was in the fridge was just a few Ensures, like the meal supplements,” Badgerow remembers. “They didn’t ask us for anything. We just had a great conversation. But then, I went right to the grocery store, picked up a bunch of groceries and delivered them. And I said, I’ll be here every week.”
From that day four years ago and that single family, the ministry has grown to serve over 170 people each month. They do not call themselves a pantry because they believe in using the need for food as a gateway to relationships.
“I think the missing piece in the church is like, you can go all day long giving someone food, you know, trying to meet their physical needs. But if you don’t have relationship, you’re missing something. Because when you have a relationship, you have love, where you have love you have an open door to their hearts. And they know they trust you and they can see that you really do care.”
Badgerow says that it has taken a community to help feed those in need in their community. They’ve relied heavily on the support of local businesses. Whether it was goods, monetary donations or volunteers, it has taken all hands to make their ministry as impactful as it has become. She credits their partnership with Feeding America West Michigan as another major factor.
“With Feeding America, you’re able to get a lot more bang for your buck and you can then minister to more in the community,” Badgerow said.
Right now, the ministry has seen its needs continue to rise and do not expect them to go down any time soon. It will be relying on the support of the Greenville community to be the inside-out church they are, reaching beyond the walls of the church to the heart of those in need.
“The church’s within us, we’re the one that carry it, we’re the one that evangelize it. The church building is just a place where people gather,” Badgerow said. “So for us it’s like a mission that we don’t just say that we’re doing church, we do it by actually going out and and sharing love with the community.”
Greenville gathered 2,301 pounds of food for City Church’s Food Ministry.