CONCORD -- A Concord church is mobilizing to show its concern for the needy with a groceries giveaway that eclipses the biblical feeding of the 5,000.
Calvary Temple Church will hold its third "Convoy of Hope" on Saturday, when scores of volunteers will distribute approximately 17.5 tons of food that a big-rig hauled from Springfield, Mo., for low-income families in Bay Point and surrounding areas.
The event starts at 10 a.m. at Rio Vista Elementary School, 611 Pacifica Ave., Bay Point.
This is the third time that Calvary Temple has organized the large-scale outreach in conjunction with Convoy of Hope, an international Christian organization that provides disaster relief, meals and tools to help poor farmers produce their own food.
But the help the church is offering goes far beyond the free bag of groceries and hot dog lunches that visitors will receive -- and as many as 8,000 are expected.
Calvary Temple's size -- roughly 2,500 people attend its four weekend services -- has enabled it to muster the hundreds of volunteers and community support needed to present guests with a cornucopia of practical services.
The effort has involved congregation members going door to door through some five dozen neighborhoods in Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, Martinez and Pittsburg, passing out fliers advertising the event.
A local Rotor-Rooter business also got in on the act, paying for TV spots promoting the event.
Paris Beauty College is providing students and instructors who will give haircuts free for the asking.
A labor union has donated 50 new children's bicycles; a company that specializes in organic baby food will be handing out smoothies to kids along with tips on healthy eating; and professional photographers will take family portraits.
At last count, church members had donated more than 400 pairs of new shoes for children.
Dozens of nurses, doctors and dental hygienists will be on hand to give vision, blood pressure and diabetes screenings along with dental cleanings and sealants to prevent cavities in children.
Pharmacists will give advice on interactions between multiple prescriptions, and a respiratory therapist will teach asthma patients breathing techniques.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation will show women how to perform their own breast exams.
The Pittsburg and Mt. Diablo Unified school districts will be on hand accepting job applications, as will the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and a Berkeley nonprofit dedicated to energy conservation.
Eastbay Works representatives will offer resume critiques and coaching for job interviews along with about two dozen church volunteers who have professional experience in human resources and recruiting.
In addition, there will be laptops and printers on hand for those who need hard copies of their resume.
The entertainment includes a mariachi band, magician and petting zoo along with carnival games; taekwondo experts will give demonstrations, and a group will perform feats of strength.
On their way out, visitors can stop by a tent, where church members will pray for any cocerns they have, no strings attached.
"The goal is not to (recruit more members). The goal is to reach out to every person's practical need," event coordinator Carey Gregg said.
"We want to bring hope to our community through giving relief, a poverty-free day," she said, adding that Calvary Temple's aim is also to provide comfort through employment services.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.
What: Calvary Temple Church's "Convoy of Hope"
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Rio Vista Elementary School, 611 Pacifica Ave., Bay Point