'Beloved Community' fair helps those in need

Posted May 30, 2009 9:51 a.m. EDT

— A new festival in downtown Durham Saturday aims to get residents involved in helping those in need.

"If you live, work or worship in downtown Durham, you already know there's a divide: ... those have a home, have food to eat, and have clothing to put on each morning and those who have little or nothing yet are still living in our community," the Web site for the Beloved Community Resource Fair and Picnic said.

Fair organizers with St. Phillip's Episcopal Church want to help restock the Urban Ministries Food Pantry for the summer.

In that season, donations and volunteer hours typically go down, while children without free school lunches push up demand. The food pantry serves about 500 meals daily and provides food to nearly 400 homes each month.

Fair attendees can also learn about local support services, including health, financial and community aide organizations.

And they'll be treated to some free entertainment – performances by musical groups including a shelter choir, food, crafts, face painting, story readings and other children's activities.

Organizers hope the fair will "provide opportunities to share a meal, conversation and music, helping to build a beloved community right here in downtown Durham," according to the Web site.

The Beloved Community fair takes place on St. Phillips' campus, 403 E. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.