A network of local churches will be giving away food and supplies, offering free COVID-19 tests and providing bill assistance to those in need of the help this weekend.

Limestone County Churches Involved, a nonprofit made up of 47 different local houses of worship, is sponsoring a Day of Caring from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 201-A N. Jefferson St. in Athens.

According to the group, food will be given to qualified families and individuals, and general financial assistance will be available for those who qualify to help pay things like utility bills, rent or certain emergency expenses.

“It really is amazing to be able to reach out to people in need,” LCCI Director and the Rev. Thom Porter said. “To be able to help God's people and reach out the love is very uplifting.”

In order to qualify for assistance, applicants must reside in Limestone County and provide a photo ID. Utilities assistance requires a current print-out from Athens Utilities or Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority.

For rental assistance, the applicant must provide contact information for the landlord or property management and the current amount due. This does not include late fees or deposits.

Porter said the reason LCCI decided to host the Day of Caring on a Saturday is to reach people who are unable to come in for assistance at normal operating hours during the week.

“We are usually open five days a week for food assistance and three days a week for general assistance, but people who are working during the week might not have the opportunity to get help,” Porter said. “We wanted to look at how we could reach that working population that might need a little assistance.”

LCCI is partnering with the Alabama Health Education Center for the free COVID-19 tests provided on site.

The only requirement to receive one will be providing a name and contact information so results can be sent. Porter said the tests will be self-administered, and results will come back within 48 hours.

He said LCCI has been given 50 $10 gift certificates for Washington Street Diner to hand out to anybody who comes through the assistance process and requests them.

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