The Philadelphia Prayer Clinic gave out 60 care packages filled with breakfast and lunch to youth in the Hunting Park area on Sunday morning.
Senior Pastor Desmond Byrd said the effort was organized to help families and youth affected by the coronavirus pandemic, by providing food over the weekend because schools give out meals on weekdays only.
“The idea came as soon as I heard schools were closing,” Byrd said. “I’m an educator, so as soon as I heard schools were closing, it [began] to burden me how many children who are used to daily snack and lunch would be affected. We came up with the idea of drive-by blessings — care packages with fresh fruits, dry cereal and juice — for families with children.”
For an hour, a few of the Prayer Clinic’s members stood on the corners near the church directing people inside.
Grandparents, fathers and mothers went in to get packages for however many children they had in their homes.
Afterwards, several Prayer Clinic missionaries and members walked the neighborhood, surrounding Fifth and Butler streets, to give out the remaining packages door to door.
“It does help, because it brings people together with this coronavirus,” said William Robinson, a cement worker and father of four, who lives near the church.
Robinson said his situation was complicated by an injured foot and that he is “not supposed to be on his feet.” He said the care package would be a help for his two sons and two daughters, one of whom is pregnant.
“Now, I can use the little money I do have and I can put it on the bills — the water, the electric,” Robinson said.
Michelle Swain, a Prayer Clinic missionary and leader of the Chosen Little Anointed People (CLAP) ministry, said the church usually feeds breakfast to its Sunday school youth because they “learn better” when they have eaten.
She described their move to do the drive-by-blessing as “instinctual.”
“We know from being in ministry that sometimes children lack a lot of different things and food is one of them,” Swain said. “The [packages] may be the only meal these children receive.”
The Philadelphia Prayer Clinic is at 505 W. Butler St., where the Sunday care package distribution will continue indefinitely.
Swain, Byrd and other Prayer Clinic members also prayed with the people as they came to receive the packages.
“We prayed for their families — [that] no hurt, harm or danger come to them and just a prayer for safety as they come in and come out because the world is crazy,” she said. “We let them know the Prayer Clinic is here.”