NORTH ROYALTON – Feed the hungry and help those in trouble, it’s a lesson from the Bible that resonates with churches. It’s also the spirit of the newest multi-group partnership that has taken root and will yield the first fruits of its labor this spring and summer.

The North Royalton Produce Market, a farmers’ market-style stand, is a cooperative effort of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and partner agency St. Albert the Great Church, along with the city of North Royalton, Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church and Abundant Life Community Church.

This produce stand will be open once a month from 1 p.m. until the food is gone (no later than 3 p.m.) beginning April 9 and continuing May 14, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10 at the York Road Recreation Field pavilion, 14631 York Road, just south of state Route 82 on the east side of York Road.

North Royalton’s stand will be one of 34 similar stands in the Greater Cleveland area.

St. Albert the Great spearheaded this venture. Denise Bobulsky, service and volunteer coordinator at St. Albert, said there is a definite need.

“As of the latest report, the numbers have risen in terms of the folks who qualify for assistance. The number has risen by 1,000 since I started here five years ago. That’s significant. I think this is going to serve a great purpose,” she said.

Produce, which is supplied by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, will consist of at least four varieties of seasonal fruits and vegetables and also a few bread products, if available.

Volunteers will undergo training soon to run the stand and assist shoppers with their choices. Other North Royalton churches are being encouraged to participate.

The market is specifically geared toward serving the senior citizen population, however, anyone who meets the income requirements determined by the Federal Government Poverty Guidelines can receive fresh produce.

To use the market, residents are encouraged to apply in person ahead of time through the city’s Office on Aging to expedite the process. Registration begins Monday, March 11.

Any leftover produce from each market day will be distributed to area food pantries.

Kathi Lacinski, Redeemer’s food pantry coordinator, said these partnerships create a broader reach.

“By having these partnerships, it allows us to better understand our community, its needs and to continue to provide those resources while continuing our goal of healthier food options,” she said.

Debra Burrows, outreach specialist and manager of the city senior center, agreed.

“Sometimes either medicine is more important or food for babies, so the things they buy are canned or frozen. Now they will be able to get fresh produce, which is more nutritious and good for them,” she said. “We’re excited and happy to see this program come to fruition and to be able to help our neighbors in need.”

Mayor Bob Stefanik thanked St. Albert, Royal Redeemer and Abundant Life, who he said have a great history of service.

“We encourage any and all partnerships to help enhance the quality of life issues in our community,” he said. “Our churches have a history of community outreach and serving all of North Royalton regardless of denomination, and that’s true about our city.”

To apply for the market, contact the Office on Aging at 440-582-6333.