At the Loma Linda Thai church, Pastor Cris Manlongat and his church members are in the process of developing a food distribution program they started in 2020.
“Right now, we are serving 5,000 pounds of food every week,” Manlongat said.
As their efforts have grown over the months, so have their friendships with local residents who have volunteered to take part in the outreach—Manlongat notes that many of them have not had previous interactions with the Adventist community.
While working at the church distributing food, Manlongat shared how people drive by just to honk, wave, donate to the program, and verbalize their support of what the volunteers are doing.
Though happy with the success so far, Manlongat says they still needed a solution for delivering food to people who lack transportation or are homebound. With these needs in mind, his church purchased a van to help them make deliveries. Because this part of their program doesn’t have a title yet, members fondly refer to it as the Sanctified Door Dash. Locals and church members volunteer to drive the van to make deliveries, and some are also volunteering garage space to serve as mini-satellite food distribution outlets. Additional plans are in the works that will allow community members to select which food items they want through a website.
Love is at the heart of what motivates Manlongat and his team.
“There is ongoing hate toward the Asian community,” Manlongat said. “We want neighbors to know that we are here to make a good impact on the community and be good neighbors. This is a peaceful way, an intentional way of making a good impact.”