There were few breaks in lines of cars delivering trunks full of nonperishable food items to Southeast Christian Church campuses April 24 and 27 during the Urgent Needs Food Drive, a lifeline for area food pantries that have struggled to keep enough food on hand to meet needs.
As donors pulled up, they were greeted by volunteers wearing face shields and gloves who maintained social distancing guidelines. Volunteers unloaded food and left donation receipts and prayer cards in trunks.
Behind the scenes, volunteers sorted and boxed food and loaded it onto pallets for delivery.
The food drive collected approximately 90,000 food items, making it the largest food drive in Southeast history.
But it’s not just the numbers. Stories behind donations make it remarkable. Many gave in spite of job insecurity and payroll cuts.
>Sherry drove to the Crestwood Campus with her trunk packed with nonperishable food. She posted news of the food drive on her neighborhood Facebook group and said people could drop donations off on her porch. She was overwhelmed by the generosity of her neighbors.
>A mom brought her two children, a fifth and sixth grader, who purchased two bags of food with their own money and gave the rest, $3, for their tithe.
>At the Crestwood Campus, a mom and her 11th grader came in a van filled with enough food to fill three carts. “When I was thanking them, they said it was the least they could do,” said volunteer Keri Owens. “I’m glad I had a mask on because I was a bit emotional with this one.”
>Day 1 of the food drive at the Indiana Campus averaged a car every two minutes.
>When his fishing trip to Wisconsin was canceled, a man donated the money he had saved for the trip to the food drive.
“The response to this drive shows how people want to give back during this crisis,” said Jay Schroder, Southeast Missions Local Partner team leader. “If you are looking for a way to serve, text the word ‘respond’ to 733733, put in your ZIP code and discover places you can serve, guides to pray and practical ways you can help from home.”