Pastor says churches must do their part now that additional $600 for unemployment is no longer coming in

WATCH: Pastor says churches must do their part now that additional $600 for unemployment is no longer coming in

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Raleigh pastor says churches must do their part now that the additional $600 for unemployment is no longer coming in.

That ended last Saturday in Tennessee.

Pastor Bill Adkins of Greater Imani Church in Raleigh told FOX13 he’s getting more phone calls from people who need assistance now more than ever.

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The pastor of Saint Andrew AME Church in South Memphis said they’re providing information about rental assistance.              

“It’s no doubt it’s going to get worse. We can see that right now coming,” said Pastor Bill Adkins.

Adkins said he started feeling the impact of COVID-19 at the end of April when people in his congregation and community who never had to rely on the church for food and rent assistance before suddenly needed help.

“We have so many people that work in the restaurant industry, they worked in hotels, food services, made their living not only playing in church on Sunday but on Beale Street at night and the casinos in Mississippi,” Adkins stated.

Some families were bad off before the pandemic.

“The church must step up. We’ve got to do as much as we can to help as many as we can,” said Adkins.

Now that the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit ended as well as the federal ban on evictions, more Americans are turning to their place of worship.

“We were doing it on a smaller scale,” Adkins said. “When we saw people needed gasoline to go to work we would just fill their tanks.  When we found people that needed food, we have our own food pantry, so we would just automatically pull boxes of food out.”

Adkins said he fears for children starting school this fall especially now that districts across the country are turning to virtual learning.

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“We have problems with children who depend on school lunches and school breakfast, and sometimes their only base of nutrition for the day, we worry about how we’re going to get food to them,” he said.

Saint Andrew is also providing masks to seniors.

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