It’s a Tuesday morning at Hughes United Methodist Church (HUMC) where a queue of cars starts in the parking lot and winds around the block and onto Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. This day is like other Tuesdays when hundreds of people on foot and in cars arrive to pick up food for their families. HUMC is part of the county’s services consolidation effort to bring resources and services like food, rental assistance, and Covid testing directly to vulnerable residents in one central location.
IMPACT Network Builder Carmen Hernandez played the important role of connector in bringing the services hub to Hughes. In March, she saw HUMC’s lead pastor, Rev. Diana Wingeier-Rayo, using church resources to provide food to 15 families from the surrounding neighborhood. Knowing of county plans for a services hub, Carmen connected Rev. Diana to Luisa Montero (Executive Director, Mid-County Regional Services Center) and Councilmember Nancy Navarro. Soon, HUMC was part of the county effort to support families suffering during the pandemic and their weekly food distributions grew from 15 families to more than 500.