By the Book: You CAN make a difference
by Anthony Cook
acook@annistonstar.com
Jun 09, 2012 | 1524 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you’re a church member, you’ve probably heard the claim that 80 percent of the work gets done by 20 percent of the people.

If you’re one of the 20 percent, you’re probably nodding in agreement right now.

A few local Christian men and women are using the gist of that principal to challenge local churches and organizations to help feed the hungry in Calhoun County.

It’s called the CAN 52 movement.

The CAN stands for Collect And Nourish.

The 52 refers to the number of canned goods they hope to collect weekly.

The goal is to have 98 local teams — churches, businesses or organizations — collect 52 canned goods each week to be distributed to area residents who don’t have enough to eat. The initial focus is the west Anniston area.

Why 98?

With around 300 churches in the Yellow Pages for Greater Calhoun County, the idea is to get around a third of the faith community to participate. (More would be welcome, too.)

Operating at that capacity, CAN 52 would bring in more than 250,000 canned goods a year.

Is there that much need in Anniston? According to CAN 52 literature, one out of every four people in Anniston live below the poverty level, and many go without their most basic needs, including food.

I found out about CAN 52 around a month ago, and presented the opportunity to my church, Christian Fellowship. I reminded them that Jesus fed the hungry, and he told us to do the same (Matthew 25:34-40).

The youth at our church took it on as their own ministry, and over the past three weeks, I’m proud to say they’ve collected around 60 canned goods from the congregation.

No, that’s not in keeping with the goal of 52 per week, but whatever we bring in now is more than we were collecting before.

And we don’t even have to transport it. If you collect for CAN 52, team members will arrange to pick up collections bi-weekly or monthly and store them at Edgewood Church in Anniston.

Sound familiar? Don’t we already have enough food pantries in the area?

The difference between CAN 52 and other local food pantries is that CAN 52 recognizes many of the people who are in need of food are also in need of transportation, and therefore will actually deliver the canned goods to those in need.

But beyond that, team members will also take the opportunity to share their faith as they make deliveries. They realize that even more than food, Anniston needs the hope, truth and salvation found only in Jesus Christ.

If you’re interested in starting a CAN 52 team, contact Aaron Creed at 256-504-3375 or aaron.creed@gmail.com; Matt Martin at 256-499-0514; or Ben New at 256-225-1232.

Managing Editor Anthony Cook is pastor at Christian Fellowship Bible Church. Reach him at acook@annistonstar.com or 256-235-3558. On Twitter @Acook_star.
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By the Book: You CAN make a difference by Anthony Cook
acook@annistonstar.com

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