As a result of BUILD’s relationship with The Johns Hopkins University and strong member organizations Koinonia Baptist church, Rebuild Johnston Square Neighborhood Organization, Mt Sinai Baptist Church, Zion Baptist Church, Rebuild Metro, and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, BUILD began delivering food to 550 families in East Baltimore on April 29 for 16 weeks. Organizing for more funding has allowed us to increase the delivery to 730 families and includes PPE.

Two local food distribution services provide fresh food each Wednesday and a local produce co-op provides fresh produce every other Thursday. Our drivers and site coordinators are paid a stipend for their time, and volunteers contact each family prior to every delivery to make sure they are still and need and will be home to receive the food.

We build power through relationships. At a time when people feel cut-off and isolated, when we deliver food door to door, people see a friendly and familiar face. From a safe distance, they are called by their name and asked if they’re okay. We are rekindling and reinforcing church and community ties that weeks of social distancing threaten to erode. Congregations are meeting new people and deepening relationships in the communities’ greatest time of need. It shows that institutions are not simply houses of worship, but a place of transformation, even when our doors are closed.

Recipients, site coordinators and drivers alike have expressed gratitude from their interactions.

It’s too far to send my children to get the school meals. I can’t even imagine what we would do without this food.  D Stevenson, recipient

I have received food before that I wanted to throw away, I didn’t expect to get free quality food Miss Williams, recipient

I catch 2 buses from my house to grocery shop but I am afraid to get on the bus, I am high risk for the virus. Everyone is so caring when the call and bring us food God sent them to us. T. Johnson, recipient

I choose to help because there are so many people in my community have lost their jobs. I talk with them and they are immensely grateful because they really need it. They are not able to buy food or anything else they need. They truly feel grateful. N. Gonzales, Site Coordinator

I have been blessed by delivering the food, as many have shared how blessed they are to receive!  A. Carter, driver

The gentleman answered the door and I told him I had food for him. He called his wife and said who sent us food, she started crying and said only God knew. The Gentleman started crying and so did I. They live in my neighborhood and it hit me we, I have to do more in my neighborhood. Roberta, driver