Columbia, SC (WLTX) - When schools shut down to become shelters for the evacuees from the coast, many kids across the midlands lost a stable source of food. To help, Grace Christian Church in Columbia decided to provide lunches to kids in Richland school district one.
"Many of our students in school district one, they depend on every meal that the school district provides," said Aaron Bishop, the pastor of Grace Christian Church and a board commissioner for Richland school district one.
Now that Hurricane Matthew has turned our schools into shelters, Bishop says the children are paying the price.
"Many of our students don't have an opportunity to eat," Bishop said, "they miss meals, they go hungry."
But not on Bishop's watch.
"The church has to step up when the schools can't support the community," Bishop said, "The Bible says, 'to the least of these,' and our kids are the least of these. They're the ones that need to be attended to in a time like this."
So with help from the Solomon Law Group, local fraternities and sororities, and Grace Christian volunteers, families were able to pick up sack lunches for their children from the church.
That is not all, though. The group also set up a lunch station in the Latimer Manor neighborhood to give to the kids there.
"It really means a lot to me during this time," said Cherie Wyatt, a mother whose kids were picking up lunches in Latimer Manor. "My kids, they normally be in school. They eat and they depend on their lunch at school and eat breakfast in the morning at school, so this is really helping me."
"We are a village, we need to take care of our own," Bishop said. "When there's a need to be fulfilled, we need to step in."
Now, the "village" reaches all the way to the coast.
"South Carolina is South Carolina strong, we know how to come together as a family in times of crisis," said Tammy Hill, a volunteer with Grace Christian church.
Hill says it is a village that still has enough room to fit everyone.
"Even though we're taking care of them, we're also taking care of Richland one students," Hill said.