READING, Pa. - Giving hope to, as the Bible says, "whosoever will come."
The Reverend Brian Jenkins is the founder of Chosen 300 Ministries with chapters in Center City and West Philadelphia, and Pottstown, focused on feeding the homeless and those in need. Reading was going to be the next city to get a chapter until the pandemic took over. With so many in the city suffering, Jenkins didn't want to wait.
"We're excited to be in the Reading area," said Jenkins.
On Saturday, his ministry came to Zion Baptist Church near North 3rd and Washington streets with 1,000 boxes of food. Within 90 minutes, it was all gone.
"It is heartbreaking to be able to see so many people pull up," said Jenkins. "It's not just people who were poor once, these are people that have Mercedes and Cadillacs that are pulling up and waiting in the line for food. What that says is, 'I had a job, or I was doing well, but now I can't afford the basic necessity of food and I just need this to help me get by until maybe things get a little better.'"
A big factor of Jenkins' presence in Reading is his friendship with the Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, Bruce Alick.
"It tears at my heart when a car comes up, there are children in the car, and the person is saying, 'thank you, God bless you, I needed this,'" said Alick.
Thanks to federal grants, Chosen 300 will be back at the church again this Saturday, and more Saturdays to come; no judgement, no discrimination, just a helping hand.
"Whosoever will, let them come," said Alick.