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Hope City volunteers prepare meals.

Church distributes more than 40,000 Christmas meals

Christmas was brighter for many Joplin, Mo. families, thanks to volunteers at Hope City Church, who packed meals for those less fortunate.

“In a season where it can be easy to give our attention and focus to things, we wanted to focus on people,” Lead Pastor Cody Walker says. “Instead of having a typical worship gathering, we spent most of our time packing meals that will help feed hungry families. The church complied with coronavirus restrictions, and everyone wore a mask, gloves and hairnets. In all, 40,218 meals were packed.”


Member Travis Keller helped pack the meals for the first time, “It’s amazing,” he said “I mean it just shows the spirit of Joplin, were so community-oriented, it’s just amazing to see everybody do that.”

The meals were delivered to Watered Garden Ministries, which the church has partnered with for a few years, and were distributed at its Mission Market and Outreach Center.

“It helps keep our Mission Market stocked with an item we use very often and thus tend to run out of regularly,” said Casie Augustine, kitchen manager at Watered Gardens. “Through providing quality food, it allows us to have regular shoppers and build relationships with our clients. This gives us an opportunity to encourage, share hope and pray with those we get to meet and serve.”

Hope City Church of Joplin is a campus of Hope City Church, which has three locations. Joplin was the scene of a devastating tornado almost a decade ago.

“This year especially with all the challenges that have taken place, we’ve had to go through a little extra measures to make sure to do it in a healthy way,” Walker said, “but we believe it is now more than ever a time more than ever we can help our neighbors and speak into the needs that have taken place and be the church right here in Joplin and the surrounding areas.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice