Last Thursday, as junior and high school students were released from school, PIE Club members headed over to Mikulski Hall to start setting up for our Spring Food Giveaway.
Families whose children receive free or reduced fee lunches at Rose Garden Elem., Wilder Intermediate, Corbett Junior High and Clemens High schools were invited to attend; 100 families (with over 400 family members) were each given a large package of produce and meat and were able to select up to 10 non-perishable items.
At 12:30 the SA Food Bank delivered over 12,000 pounds of meat, poultry, onions, apples, cabbage, fish sticks and more. Four seniors have off periods in the afternoon and were able to arrive by 2:00. We went through the pallets of food, counting and deciding how much would go into each package.
Then they jumped to work setting up the non-perishables by type. They wrapped that up in an hour and started assembling the boxes of food for the families.
At 4:00 the rest of the group arrived and immediately jumped into helping assemble the boxes. This group was impressive. After a long day at school, they hustled and worked hard to have 100 boxes ready by 4:45. We took a 5 minute break for a group picture, a video wishing Natural Bridge Caverns a Happy Birthday and group prayer before diving back into work.
The kids worked hard for the next hour, continuing to assemble at least 20 more boxes, greet and help the families, carry boxes to the car and clean up. One of pallets was full of onions and onion skins were every where. As they began breaking down boxes and clearing the area, they asked for brooms to clean it up. The Hall was having it's weekly Fish Fry the next day and we needed to help them with set up so when time allowed a few shifted gears and set up the tables that would be used the next day.
After the last family had been given food, we took a short break to eat sandwiches Schlotzsky's had donated. At closing, we still had a few boxes left so we loaded the extra boxes and groups into cars to deliver to the neighboring, low income apartments.
The kids worked hard and fast all day, they grew hungry long before we were able to break for food. No one ever complained. As one job wrapped up they were always asking "What needs to be done next?"
They're amazing. I'm in awe to walk beside them.
God is here.