The Lake City, Florida Christian Service Center (CSC) is a faith based community center that has been providing food and other services to the poor and homeless for 31 years. Part of the services offered by CSC has been food stuffs provided by USDA via the Florida Department of Agriculture. When CSC recently attempted to renew their contract with the Florida Department of Agriculture, they were told that the USDA had changed the contract (under Executive Orders) and the USDA food would not be delivered unless CSC agreed to take down a portrait of Jesus, the Ten Commandments and other religious items. CSC told them (in a Christian-like manner) to shove it. Good for them. They get a check from me first thing on Monday.
A Florida ministry that feeds the poor said a state agriculture department official told them they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read “Jesus is Lord” and stopping giving Bibles to the needy.
“They told us they could no longer allow us to have any religious information where the USDA food is going to be,” said Kay Daly, executive director of the Christian Service Center.
The USDA referred to an Executive Order providing equal protection for faith-based organizations. That order guarantees those groups the right to provide assistance without “removing or altering religious art, icons, scriptures or other symbols from these facilities.”
For the past 31 years, the Christian ministry has been providing food to the hungry in Lake City, Fla. without any problems. But all that changed when they said a state government worker showed up to negotiate a new contract.
“The (person) told us there was a slight change in the contract,” Daly told me. “They said we could no longer have religious information where the USDA food is being distributed. They told us we had to take that stuff down.”
In other words – the Christian Service Center had a choice: choose God or the government cheese.
So in a spirit of Christian love and fellowship, Daly politely told the government what they could do with their cheese.
“We decided to eliminate the USDA food and we’re going to trust God to provide,” she told me. “If God can multiply fish and loaves for 10,000 people, he can certainly bring in food for our food pantry so we can continue to feed the hungry.”
In a nutshell, Daly said the Christian Service Center would not be compromising.
“We are a Christian ministry,” she said. “Our purpose is to help people in need and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are going to pray with them. We are going to offer them a Bible. We are going to counsel them in Christian help. We are going to use our chapel.”
Churches across Lake City have stepped up to the challenge – filling the void left when the government took away their cheese.
“I’m called to do what the Lord tells me to do,” Daly said. “I’m not called to worry about it. I pray about it. The Lord answers our prayers and we move forward one day at a time, one person at a time.”
Read the entire article here. HT – WZ