Partner Spotlight: Love in Deed
July 6, 2022
Pastor Rachel Howell (pictured right) leads Perfecting Holiness Deliverance Ministries in Newport, and her team hosts the Love in Deed food distribution every third Saturday of the month outside the church located on East Newport Pike.
Feeding the community is close to Pastor Howell’s heart.
“My mother was a single mom,” she explains. “During certain times of the month things would be slim. I recall the third week of the month we ate peanut butter sandwiches, ketchup sandwiches, mayo sandwiches and bread with syrup. I remember my mom would pop popcorn to stretch until the first of the month. My experience [as a child] is why we do it on the third Saturday.”
Pastor Rachel and the team started distributing food to their community in 2011. They got their start at the church’s original home in the Northeast section of Wilmington.
“We saw the needs of our community,” she says. “There are no grocery stores in the area.”
They launched the food closet with a little bit of money, support through community food drives and a lot of heart. They canvassed the local neighborhood to get the word out. Through word of mouth, their pantry grew. They started distributing 30 bags of food and it quickly grew to 65 plus.
“We like interacting and being of service to the community,” Pastor Howell points out.
Thanks to their partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware, they are able to access fresh foods like meat, produce and milk for their monthly distributions.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Pastor Howell closed down the church building and started distributing outside. Space was tight so they searched for a new home. They landed in Newport at the former St. Matthew’s church hall.
Demand for food was so high at the height of the pandemic that cars would line down Boxwood Road in Newport for the drive-thru distribution. Thanks to the support of the Delaware Department of Transportation, they are now able to easily manage the traffic.
The Love in Deed distribution is a well-oiled machine. On the Wednesday before the Saturday distribution, a volunteer picks up bread and bakery items from Bimbo Bakeries, and the Food Bank of Delaware delivers food every third Thursday of the month. Volunteers sort and organize that evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. to prepare for the Saturday distribution.
Volunteers begin arriving around 8:00 a.m. on Saturday to set up for the 10:00 a.m. start. Volunteers bring out a variety of nonperishables, milk, chicken, hygeine products and more. At 10:00 a.m. cars begin passing through the distribution line, and the team of volunteers loads each vehicle.
The atmosphere is lively as a DJ plays music and the team greets each visitor with a warm smile. In addition to food, Pastor Howell also shares other community resources.
Each month, between 100 and 200 families receive assistance.
Our community is best served thanks to partnerships with organizations like Love in Deed! To learn more about the food distribution, click here. To learn more about becoming a partner of the Food Bank of Delaware, click here!