Pantry Distributes Food to Over 200 Happy Families in 90 Minutes During Pre-Thanksgiving Food Giveaway
By Maureen McNair
A well-oiled machine of food pantry volunteers, including church members and dedicated people from the wider community, distributed free food to over 200 happy families last Saturday in our busiest food give-away to date. The South Bay Food Pantry volunteers gave away fresh produce, frozen chicken, eggs, a bag of dry goods, 8-10 food items from Starbucks, and artisan bread to each household. In addition, we gave frozen turkeys to several community members. We also delivered free turkeys to the homes of several church families. Many, many hours of prep work went into creating this mass food distribution. But, our volunteers managed to put several tons of nutritious food into our South Bay community in 90 minutes. Then, we cleaned up, and went home.
The highlight of our give away was handing out the gift cards so many of you generously donated. With so many guests, we could not give a gift card to everyone. And, we had to be discreet to avoid possible conflicts among pantry clients.
But, I want you all to know how grateful the recipients were. I kept the gift cards in my pocket. When someone identified as a gift card recipient came through the food distribution line, I pulled them aside and asked, “Would you like a turkey?” Of course, everyone said they would. So, I just slipped my hand into my pocket, pulled out a gift card, and said, “Here is a gift card for $25. Please buy a turkey with it.”
I don’t think our gift card recipients have people in their lives who can, essentially, give them cash. To a person, recipients started to pour out their gratitude and stories — “Thank you so much," "I am being treated for cancer,” or “We didn’t have a turkey last year.” As you enjoy your holiday this year, please enjoy it knowing your generosity has made a very big difference for real people who appreciate you.
As this year winds to an end, the South Bay Food Pantry approaches its second anniversary and finds itself in a position we haven’t been in before. We are going to be closed for two weeks. This year, both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on Saturdays, which are our food distribution days. Both regional food banks will be closed, so we will be closed too because we will not have access to bulk food. We want to make our last food distribution of the year, which will be on Saturday, Dec. 18, as bountiful as possible. So, if you are able to donate turkey gift cards for Christmas, we are more than happy to give them to our pantry clients. Those gift cards will help families buy turkeys and may well help tide them over with additional groceries until our pantry re-opens on Jan. 8.
Thank you! And enjoy your Turkey Day!
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