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FAITH & FAMILY — Life Church, Be A Champion partner to feed local children

Life Church, in conjunction with the Be A Champion program, are providing free grab-and-go meals for children on Tuesdays — something children’s pastor Jessica Robbins said is an answer to her prayers.

The church, located at 4600 Jimmy Johnson Blvd., serves from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and you don’t even need to get out of your vehicle.

A look at some of the meal packages.

The kids’ meals program began Tuesday, and there was such a turnout that organizers ran out of meals around noon.

Robbins suggests lining up at 10:45 a.m.

“The cool thing is that this will happen every Tuesday during the summer,” she said. “There are no requirements. If you have kids from 1 to 18, this is for you. Your kids don’t have to be in the car with you. It’s a trust thing. You come through, they take your name and ask how many children you have.”

The meals are for the week.

For example, you will get seven individual servings of milk for each child in the family, move up to the next station and get seven days of breakfasts for each child with juice. Then at the next station seven individual packed lunches.

“And you can come back every single week,” Robbins said.

The goal is to give away 3,500 meals for 500 people.

Volunteers line up this week to help distribute free grab-and-go kids meals to needy families at Life Church in Port Arthur.

How it began

Life Church already has a food pantry that gives a regular amount of food provided by the church members.

“We buy at H-E-B, but when the quarantine started, we were not able to buy bulk and still had people come by for food, so I started praying, asking God what are we going to do,” Robbins said.

A few weeks later came a visit from a woman she met some time before. And as the woman crossed the parking lot, she asked, “you want to feed people, don’t you? I’m here to help.”

Robbins said she hadn’t told anyone of her prayers except God.

The woman is part of Be A Champion, which was founded in 2001 by two former University of Houston football players, Jaron Barganier and James Hong.

Be A Champion is a sports, education and nutrition outreach designed to support youth that may be in need, Sabrina Tellez said.

The program operates in Houston and other areas of the state and during the pandemic is providing the free grab-and-go meals for children and teens at local schools, churches, community centers, day cares and apartment complexes.

Beaumont/Port Arthur Field Supervisor Kimberly Semien made contact with Life Church after identifying a potential need for local families.

Be A Champion is also serving at other sites in and around Port Arthur.

Nutritious meals are funded by the Texas Department of Agriculture through the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.

Robbins is hoping to continue the program through the summer and more if possible.

She realizes this is a way to help families dealing with job loss due to COVID-19.

“Nobody expected the kids to be home all the time,” she said. “My prayers were answered in the biggest, most wonderful way ever.”

For more information on Be A Champion, go to www.bachamp.org