From the beginning to the end, I saw God in every action and watched in awe as He unfolded His perfect plan.
The SA Food Bank's Mobile Food Pantry was scheduled to arrive at 9:00 a.m. and we'd
asked the teen volunteers to arrive at the same time. I had planned to arrive at 8:30 to
set-up a few things, but the night before I kept feeling a nudge to be there at 8:00. Thankfully I listened. Another volunteer and I arrived at 8:00 a,m.. We'd unloaded about half the supplies in my car when the Mobile Food Pantry pulled up at 8:09 a.m.
At first I thought "Oh No, an hour early; an hour before the volunteers arrive". But it took about 30 minutes to unload the 7 pallets of food. God's perfect timing! The last pallet of food had just been set in place as the first adult volunteer arrived.
Another board member had volunteered to help, then a Prayer Partner that helped with the last distribution volunteered and my mom volunteered, but about a week prior I was nervous that we didn't have enough adult volunteers to supervise and lead as needed. That week God laid two people on my heart, I reached out, they both said yes to volunteering - giving us the exact number and perfect team. Each was perfect for the role we needed and ensured the morning ran smoothly. I'm so grateful to each of these amazing ladies for volunteering, working hard in the heat and leading the group of teen volunteers.
The adult team had just finished walking through the plan for the day as the first teen volunteers began to arrive. 25 Amazing teens signed up to volunteer.
The work we did this week is very different than the work we'll do the rest of the summer. This week they unloaded 6,602 pounds of food, repacked into boxes for each family, loaded the boxes into cars as the families arrived and cleaned up - all in 95 degree heat, not only without a single complaint but with smiles on their faces, always asking "What else can I do?".
This group worked hard and steady and by 10:00 a.m. all the packages were ready as the families began to arrive. The teens took turns loading the boxes of food into cars. Each family received at least 4 boxes of varying sizes with a variety of meat, poultry, potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, watermelon, bread and smoothies plus they were able to select up to four items from an assortment of almond milk, cheese, bacon, creamer and other items.
The large box in each set was heavy and a group of boys worked continuously, loading them into cars. Often saying "I just want to help.".
In addition to the food, the families could sign up to receive a back pack of snacks from the church every Friday this summer, sign up for the Summer Reading Mentor & Lunch program, attend a cooking demonstration on healthy snacks, receive assistance signing up for other services (WIC, Snap, Medicaid, etc.) with a representative from the SA Food Bank and services from AACOG"s weatherization program to improve the energy efficiency in their homes. At 10:30 the teens took a break in shifts to attend the cooking demonstration and have a snack. Then the church served hot dogs to families and volunteers.
As the day drew to a close, the line of cars grew shorter and the row of boxes grew smaller, I heard one teen say "I just want load one more car". The last car arrived, a mom whose kids had been part of the Summer Reading Mentor & Lunch program last summer and attended the Food Distribution in December. She had just gotten off work and rushed to the church - the last set of boxes was loaded into her car.