While many church buildings sit empty, their parking lots are bustling as they are now one of the most critical places in the community. Here, hope is offered one cardboard box at a time, as many as six days a week.
“One lady said if it wasn’t for us, she did not know what she would do,” said Jewel Simmons, a volunteer at the Apostolic Church of Jesus in Altamonte Springs.
This is the scene at hundreds of churches, community centers and other local nonprofits that comprise Second Harvest’s 550-member feeding partner network. The phone rings constantly. The lines form early. The same story is repeated again and again.
“They call to tell you they’ve lost their job and they don’t have enough food. We understand that,” explains Herbert Bouey, the 70-year-old volunteer leader of the Apostolic church pantry. ”We tell them to just come on down.”
The hardest hit in our local economy are tourism and hospitality workers, but with many businesses still unsure of when or if they will resume operations, the only sure thing is that food pantries remain open. And people like Herbert and his small army of volunteers get the job done. Over the course of a week his crew of 15 volunteers will serve 1500 grateful families.
“It means a lot, with the virus and the food shortages,” said Mary Dollison, who waited with her mother to receive a trunk filled with groceries. “This is very much appreciated and needed by not just me, but so many of my neighbors.”
Mary was able to drive home with fresh corn, watermelon, eggs and other pantry staples, thanks to you.
You can provide hope for a neighbor in need.
$10 can provide 40 meals