KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Food insecurity has been a problem in the Miami Valley since before the pandemic, and it has only grown since March of 2020.
One local church saw the need and wanted to help.
Step into Kettering’s Central Christian Church on the third Tuesday of any month and you’ll be transported to another era.
Big band music is in the air, and dancing couples are on the floor.
Church member and musician Ken Taylor says it all started in 2018 with a group of musicians who just wanted to get together and play big band tunes. But soon they realized they had a bigger purpose.
“We have a wonderful place to rehearse and perform and so we wanted to give back to the church for that privilege,” Taylor said.
The church sits near the Kettering-Dayton line; It’s an area that leaders say is plagued by food insecurity.
On the third Tuesday of every month, the “Central Jazz Big Band” puts on a performance.
The cost of admission – a donation to the Central Christian food pantry.
“We’re a small church but we do what we can,” Taylor said.
Musicians from all over the Miami Valley fill the stage, fans fill the auditorium, and donations fill the basket.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity, and I’m so humbled by the fact that they’ve been so loyal,” Taylor said. “We were shut down, of course, like everything else with the pandemic and when we were able to regenerate the band, they all showed back up. And they enjoy the opportunity to help us support that ministry.”
The church feeds 100 to 200 people every month. Demand has doubled since the pandemic started, so the contributions make a big difference.
Melissa Moody, one of the leaders at Central Christian Church explains just how much this ministry means
“It is such a difference,” Moody said. “We hear people every Monday when they come in to pick up their groceries how much they appreciate knowing there’s someplace they can come each week and get a little extra.”
Leaders say it’s a ministry that feeds souls and stomachs, a ministry that benefits both those who receive and those who give.
“It’s just a great feeling,” Moody said.