Today we completed distribution of our third truck of food to the community. It has taken on a life of its own--we had people lined up 30 minutes before starting time and the food was all gone in an hour.
The event is sponsored by the United Church of God, SUPERB, and Legacy School. UCG is the nonprofit, SUPERB provides the resources and space with Legacy providing high school student volunteers. It has become a community project around the great common ground called "food". Jesus understood this and fed thousands during His ministry.
I have been doing live radio to promote the event and it has generated considerable attention in the community. I share one anecdote. Earlier this week I was at a place of business in the community and an employee came up to me and shared this story: "I was driving down the road near Sugarcreek and heard you saying on the radio that you would like to get some of these food boxes to elderly people who may not be able to come and pick them up. I thought to myself, 'I am on my way to visit an elderly person....'"
So she turned her car around and drove 3.5 miles back to Sugarcreek and picked up two boxes and took them to the elderly person who as it turns out wanted to make ravioli but did not have cheese--the box had a block of cheese of just the right type to make the dish. The elderly person had tears of gratitude.
This program has had a number of benefits. First, it is the right thing to do. "I was hungry and you gave me food..." Second, it has been a great morale booster for our employees who have become engaged in the distribution of food to those who are needy. Third, it has created great community engagement across a large spectrum of groups from individuals to churches to businesses and nonprofit. Fourth, it has created considerable awareness about the United Church of God and Beyond today as sponsors.
When I worked in Germany we did a similar program in Europe. As media because more and more difficult and our message gets deplatformed programs such as this one may be a great way to preach the gospel.
We plan to take a truck load a week till the food runs out.