Keepers of the Flame church gives away food, fun

August 04, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Free food along with clothing, haircuts, and entertainment were available to those who attended Saturday's Keepers of the Flame event at Doub's Woods Park in Hagerstown.
by Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Pam Lake called it a “lovefest.”

Food, drinks, haircuts and blood-pressure screenings were free. People could take home clothing and produce.

It was the third straight year that Keepers of the Flame International Church on Salem Avenue in Hagerstown gave away household staples and provided a day of music and games.

Lake, whose husband, Brian, is the church’s pastor, said the goal is to lavish fun and food upon people who need them, at a time many households are struggling to get by in a difficult economy.

Walt Whorten, the church’s director of food outreach, said about $15,000 worth of food was collected for the giveaway. Many area businesses donated.

Vinzena Lassiter and William Roberson Sr. went to the event with their children — Jarnah, 9; Trenisha, 7; Tyzhae, 10; William, 12; and Wy’kiea, 8.

The children played games and won prizes. The girls found clothes they wanted.

Lassiter, who lives in Hagerstown, said it was a nice day of fun and a boost “when you need a little.”

Leteshia Campbell of Hagerstown went with her children and cousins — “the whole family.”

She was pushing a stroller loaded with plastic bags of clothing and food, including potatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and bread.

On a hot summer day, booths were set up in Doub’s Woods Park in Hagerstown. There were several children’s games, face painting, pony rides, a clown and live music.

There also was a prayer tent, a firetruck and representatives from a pregnancy center and the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Lake said Keepers of the Flame was expecting about 1,000 people to show up during the day, which is about how many were there last year.

The first event, in 2010, attracted about 750 people, she said.

Whorten said the church regularly gives away food. It’s planning to open a storage facility that will allow it to keep perishable items longer.

Lake said the church wants to do what it can to lift the community.

“We just want to love on people,” she said.

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