The Valdosta Daily Times
A Christmas Eve tradition will not continue this year. For the past 15 years, King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church has hosted a massive Feed the Needy event. Held in the late morning and early afternoon of Christmas Eves past, Feed the Needy fed thousands of people while offering clothing, toys, and other items to those who may not otherwise enjoy a Christmas meal.
Last year, Feed the Needy fed approximately 3,500 people from the Valdosta/Lowndes County area.
The Rev. J.D. Martin of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church spearheaded Feed the Needy for the past 15 years.
He told The Times this week it was a tough decision to discontinue the event, but at 66, he said he has turned his attention to helping family with medical concerns this season.
Martin said Feed the Needy was an extraordinary experience in his life. He thanked the hundreds of volunteers, organizations and businesses that made it a success each year. He offered, too, to help any person or organization that may be interested in rekindling the Feed the Needy Christmas Eve tradition next year.
Meanwhile, those who need a holiday meal this year may partake in an up-and-coming Christmas Day tradition.
The Sons of Solomon No. 151 and Electra Chapter No. 323 host a Christmas Day meal with hot dogs and hamburgers and all the trimmings from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Dec. 25, St. John AME Church, 800 W. Magnolia St. Clothing will also be given away.
Donations are still being accepted with locations at St. John AME Church, or 410 West Adair St. Monetary donations can be made to Kemet Universal. For transportation or to make a donation, call Johnny Robinson, 375-8220; Clearetha Strawder, 630-1804; Eddie Koonce at 740-1916.
While the Rev. Martin wished to thank all in the community who made Feed the Needy possible, the community owes a great debt and thanks to him for his years of service to this Christmas cause.
And thanks to Kemet Universal, the Sons of Solomon No. 151 and Electra Chapter No. 323, for creating a hopefully new tradition on a different day but in the same giving spirit of Christmas.