Food insecurity is a real problem for many residents in Albany, unfortunately, gun violence is causing a local church to suspend their free meal programs during these difficult times.

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As you may well know, gun violence is increasing on the streets of Albany and adults are fearing for the well-being of children in the area.

Because of the increase in gun violence, Pastor Charlie Mueller of the Victory Church and the JC Club announced that he is suspending his free meal program temporarily. Pastor Mueller cites the recent shooting death of a fifteen-year-old girl last week.

Last Friday five people were injured and a 15-year-old girl was killed on the corner of First Street and Quail Street. The shootings occurred just outside of JC Club and a bullet went through the pastor's office window.

According to News 10, Pastor Mueller is not sure that he will be able to host the summer program for kids. He says that he and his staff do not feel safe inside the building. He said, “ A community program that’s been so positive throughout the years, and for the last eight years, we’ve had more violence on our corner than any other corner. Right now we just have to suspend to see how the corner is monitored at this point.”

The JC Club has been providing carry-out lunches during the pandemic. They were also delivering meals to daycare centers in the community. Last month the center provided 1800 meals to children in need.

The closing of JC Club will have a ripple effect on the community. Other community centers such as the Infinite Care Daycare will be unable to provide the services that they typically provide due to the closing of the center.

Summer is not even here yet and the gun violence that we’ve seen in the last month is causing long-reaching harm to people in the community who are already struggling.

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