HAVERFORD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Pastor Daren Miller from the Memorial Church of God in Christ spent his birthday, December 1, carrying out his mission to make sure those in need are well fed.
Miller drives around the community six days a week, collecting groceries and necessities to stock the church's food pantry. He picks up from several businesses and also community members.
While the pantry has been open for three years, the church drastically saw the need to pick up during the pandemic.
"I see the souls of a person. I see the need. I see the fact that anyone of us is literally just one paycheck from being on the other side of the food pantry," Miller said.
Miller says the hardest part is sometimes getting people to get over the stigma of coming to a food pantry. It's the reason why the church set it up to resemble more of a grocery store experience.
The pantry feeds close to 100 families every week, and they see people come from all over the tri-state.
"When people come to the church, I want them to feel the love of Christ, so they're treated a certain way," Miller said.
The pantry located right behind the sanctuary on Buck Road is open to the public every Wednesday through Friday.
"It's more than enough. It's well organized. The men here are on point, always ready to get you whatever you need," said Dawn Buckner of North Philadelphia.
Many say the great effort truly makes the pastor a hero.
"He's a very humble person. A very loving and kind person," congregation member Carlton Lewis said.
Volunteer Lawrence Henderson added, "Everything he does, I support him, and he's a God blessed man."
Another important mission for Miller involves making sure the community gets vaccinated. The church has partnered with Main Line Health and helped people receive the vaccine and booster shots.
But the hometown hero says as the holidays approach, it's really about making sure people remain healthy and give back.
"It's what are you able to do to help somebody in the community, so you're helping them spiritually but also meeting the need naturally," Miller said.