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St. Louis church offers free on-the-go meals and essentials for the community

"What these people are doing really is a blessing. We need it."

ST. LOUIS — It's a fast-moving makeshift drive-thru with one purpose: to provide food to people in the 27th Ward near West Florissant and Mimika in north St. Louis, as they try to get by during the coronavirus pandemic.

People like Ingrid Smith.

"So many people are hungry," she said.

Smith's been shut in her home all week.

"What these people are doing really is a blessing. We need it," said Smith.

"It's been a great collaboration of bringing everyone together," said Chantaya King, co-organizer of a curbside food giveaway that's taken off outside Greater Pentecostal Church of God.

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King and her husband have teamed up with Greater Pentecostal's pastor, Terence Coleman, and dozens of volunteers.

"We are practicing social distancing and we have our gloves and masks on. We're doing everything in a safe manner," said King.

Friday afternoon, the group put on their gloves and masks to give away free meals to individuals, families and anyone affected by COVID-19.

"We know that stores don't have everything you need, so we're taking on some of that burden for you to provide food and make sure no one goes hungry," said King.

After some volunteers prepare the meals in the church's kitchen, others hurry to hand off the lunch bags, so grateful citizens can grab them and go.

"Oh, thank you, sir. I just appreciate you all so much. I think you all are the best," said one ecstatic woman.

Citizens also drive off with toothpaste, hand wipes and other much-needed supplies to stay healthy.

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As of Friday, just four days after launching their curbside giveaway, the group passed out more than 1,000 meals.

"The schools are still shut down you know. Kids are still needing food and we just want to feed as many people as we can. I know this will make a difference," said Pastor Terence Bolden.

"Next week, we plan to be back out here at the same corner from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. We're getting some area grocers involved and I know we will keep expanding, keep helping the people in this community," said King.

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