In the Fall we held our annual Food Drive at the Junior high and high school campuses.
Teachers and faculty at both campuses helped promote the project and encouraged students to bring in non-perishables. Several of the teachers at the junior high really embraced the project. Every can donated was a vote to throw a PIE in that teacher’s face. One teacher posted signs saying “Vote for me”. Another added an incentive; telling his classes for each class that brought in over 100 non-perishable items, someone from that period would be able to PIE him in the face. The results were amazing. We FILLED the back end of my SUV with the non-perishables that were donated.
In December we invited families in need from Rose Garden Elem and Wilder Intermediate schools (at both schools over 40% of their student body receive free and reduced meals) to receive packages of fresh produce, meat and non-perishables. We didn’t receive the grant from the Spurs Team UP Challenge program this year, but God provided in a BIG way. Through a local church, I had heard of the San Antonio Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry and called to inquire about it. I was told the Pantry would be provided for FREE for our upcoming distribution under their Farm to Church program. The Pantry is a truck with pallets of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat – enough to provide 100 families with 20 pounds of food. We had plenty of food to give to the families at a time when we had very little resources.
We scheduled the food to be delivered the first morning of the Christmas break. 20
teens from PIE Club arrived at 9:00 a.m.; tired after a long week of finals but with eager, excited smiles on their face, ready to unload, sort, package and give food to families in need. Eight of their Prayer Partners also volunteered and it was great for the teens to get a chance to meet and work with each other. At 10:00 a.m. the families began to arrive. Santa, snacks, coloring, and crafts were available for the families to enjoy. While
children visited with Santa and colored, parents “shopped” the non-perishables and received their packages of fresh produce and meat. At a recent training with the Food Bank, we’d learned that rather than just giving non-perishables to families, we should give them the opportunity to select the items they need. So we set-up the items from the Food Drives on tables by category and families were able to choose. I’m so glad we received this advice. As I witnessed each person carefully go through and select their items I realized how important this was.
For more on the Food Distribution, please see this post from December.