Lukman Olabiyi 

The current lockdown in parts of the country has continued to inflict pain on many families who now struggle to feed. Many are those waiting for helpers to come to their rescue.

To reduce the people’s plight, a non-governmental organisation, Chris Okafor Humanity Foundation (COHF), has put smiles on the faces of the needy in Lagos. The foundation said it believed that every need in the world was an open door to share God’s love. The group said that was the reason for establishing a food bank for the masses during this period.

The founder of the NGO, Dr. Chris Okafor, general overseer of Grace Nation International, a Pentecostal church, said the foundation was a non-profit organisation that catered for the less privileged, including widows and orphans.

He stated that, since April 9, the church, through the foundation, has been distributing food items to the downtrodden and church members, in order to ameliorate sufferings necessitated by the lockdown.

Besides, the foundation said its effort was also to ensure that the public adhere to government’s stay-at-home directive as one of the strategies in combating the further spread of COVID-19. The beneficiaries were enlightened on the need to maintain personal hygiene and other precautionary measures.

“Every need in the world is an open door to share God’s love, and that is why, as a church family, we’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We are doing this not by spreading panic or hiding out of fear, but by serving the people who are most vulnerable.

“The palliatives distribution started on April 9, and is still ongoing because people come in batches so as to abide by social distancing instruction,” Okafor said.

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The food items distributed included rice, beans, garri, noodles, pasta, tomato paste, vegetable oil and seasoning.

Okafor said the gesture was not something that began recently. In his words, it was something that had been on for a long time but it was only extended to the larger society in recent times.

He said: “Christianity is all about sharing God’s love. Christianity is beyond prayers and deliverance; it also entails how to sustain those delivered so that they can carry on in life with the deliverance done on them without any compromise.

“For people to sustain their deliverance without compromise, they need to be assisted on what to depend on and sustain their lives with. Besides, catering for the needy is something I love doing and have been doing it through this foundation for long. I am very passionate about helping the poor in the society. The current situation in the country only made me to widen the scope of people and ensure that my church members and other people across the country have food to eat while the lockdown lasts.

“As a church, we deal with a whole lot of issues; we understand what people are feeling; we know where they’re coming from and the challenges they face every day. We recognise the fact that not everyone is equal; there are many people who cannot afford to be under any form of lockdown without assistance.

“I believe that helping one another is one of the cardinal reasons we exist as a church. That is one of the things our Lord Jesus Christ ordered that we should fulfil.”

Speaking further, the senior pastor of the church emphasised that, apart from spiritual encouragement, people also look up to the church for their physical needs to be met.

He also stated that the church had adopted the best strategy to make sure that the items get to people who are really in need in this period.