BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) –- Hundreds of boxes of frozen meat, vegetables and fruit were given away in under two hours at the For-Word Christian Center Thursday afternoon for Mercy Deliverance Ministries free food box giveaway.

Cars piled in line one by one, some even driving several miles just to take a box home.

“My refrigerator is empty,” a resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “I did drive a little way out here about an hour’s drive. My mom is 92 and she loves to eat.”

Many of them hope to feed their families with help from the ministry service.

“There’s an increase in need for food. We all are feeling that regardless of our economic status. You and I can go to the grocery store and tell the difference in the prices of food,” said Antoinette Vines, the President of Mercy Deliverance Ministries.

According to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, over 230,000 children, seniors and veterans lack reliable access to food in central Alabama.

Mercy Deliverance Ministries has given away thousands of free food boxes to people in the community since they started 3 years ago. Vines says it’s part of their efforts to service those in need.

“The food boxes themselves are just a moment of contact. There have been times we’ve been able to look at someone’s face and go ‘you’re not even right’ and they immediately burst into tears,” Vines said.

Those efforts are appreciated by many who are able to stop by.

“It’s a good thing. If you give help, it’ll help somebody it’s always good. Nothing but good.” said Ed Ramage, a resident who received a free food box.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says that one in four Alabamians face food insecurity, which is a reason why Mercy Deliverance Ministries is doing what it can to change that statistic.

Mercy Deliverance Ministries gives away free food boxes to those in need twice a month at the For-Word Christian Center. Click here to find dates.