AURORA, Ill.—Village Baptist Church’s food pantry serves those in the church body and in the community, but the food pantry ministry looks a bit different these days as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally the food pantry is open the second and fourth Friday of each month. However, in light of the economic hardship resulting from COVID-19, the church has added more Fridays when the pantry is open. The pantry has also transitioned to a drive-through distribution method to reduce the risk of infection for clients and volunteers. “This drive-through model worked pretty well the first time we did it, which was last Friday,” says Associate Pastor Brian Sendelbach.

To further reduce risk for its volunteers, the food pantry is now “operating with a skeletal crew of three volunteers on the days we are open,” Brian says. On Thursdays, a family packages food that has been delivered by the Northern Illinois Food Bank and donated by church members. Then on Fridays three volunteers deliver the prepackaged food to parked vehicles as clients remain in their cars. Included in the packages are communication cards, written in English on one side and Spanish on the other, giving information about the church’s online worship-at-home services.

To help the church serve as many people in the community as possible, city aldermen and school administrators have assisted in spreading the word that the church’s food pantry is available.

“Our aim is to be a light in the midst of this dark hour,” Brian says. “We hope to hold Christ high and connect our service to His name as often as we can.”