On Thursday, January 28, 2021 we had a Farmers to Families Food Drive at SUPERB Industries. It was a joint effort between UCG, SUPERB Industries, and Legacy School. UCG was the Non-Profit of record, SUPERB provided logistics and organization, and Legacy High School of Sugarcreek provided 15 volunteers to load food into cars.
The food drive was put together on short notice. We got notice one week prior that food may be available, but with no specific date or time until the day before. We preprinted labels with the Beyond Today QR-Code and placed the Legacy High School volunteers on call. We had one SUPERB employee organize the event with others participating as needed. When I got the call that the food would be delivered the next day at 2:30 we were ready to go.
Since we had only one day to let the community know about the food drive, we advertised on Facebook and bought time on WKLM 95.3—the local hometown radio. Through this and our business connections, we distributed 1,300 boxes of food in 2.5 hours. We emphasized on the air that we would like to get the food into the hands-on needy people. SUPERB employees and community members responded and delivered car and truckloads of food to those they personally knew were in need.
I believe this is a project that could be managed by many local UCG congregations. All you need is a loading dock, a forklift, a midsized parking lot, and volunteers. Most congregations will not have a loading dock, but can probably easily partner up with some community-minded business willing to donate the use of their dock and parking lot for a few hours. The organization is pretty easy. My assistant and I spent about a day doing the organization while keeping up with our other duties. Finally, I do not think most congregations would have difficulty coming up with 12 – 15 volunteers to load the food.
In addition to following Jesus’ example of feeding the hungry, it provides an excellent opportunity for a local UCG congregation to get engaged their community and build relationships with people.