First UMC in Iowa City responded to the COVID-19 situation by forming a partnership with their neighborhood. Working with Horace Mann School Principal, Julie Robertson, the church provided rent assistance, food gift cards, and quarantine care packages to families in the neighborhood connected to the school.
“I spoke about this project in our Livestream worship and many families have responded with donations to help with this ministry,” said Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle.
One person who is an affiliate member of our church, the Rev. Joseph Bly who is an AME pastor from Ghana, was listening. He contacted his bosses at Tyson Foods to see if they could help.
Bly, a Chaplain for Tyson Foods in Columbus Junction, called and said that Tyson would donate chicken to help feed the neighborhood families. The church picked up fifteen boxes of chicken fritters, repackaged them , and delivered them to the distribution site.
"They were received with a big round of applause by the families,” Tritle said. "I love how people respond to each other when there is a need and that loves knows no boundaries.”