Thanks to the generous donations by Walmart and Food Lion, Associate Minister Rev. Dr. Greg Moyer of New Beginnings and three volunteers handed out bags of food to recipients. The street and church parking lot was marked by chalk lines to help separate people and cars to maintain social distance.
As news spread about the food give-away, Co-Pastor Rev. Liz Emrey received over forty-five phone calls Friday afternoon and ten calls Saturday morning. Due to the overwhelming demand, all the food was given out within ninety minutes. About four hundred people who didn’t receive food were told to call and arrange for a food box pick up on Wednesday afternoon.
Pastor Emrey said that this Saturday’s food giveaway came about because of a last-minute donation of fresh meats, produce, and fruit by Walmart and Food Lion. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church also donated a lot of meat. She didn’t want the food to spoil over the weekend, so she reached out over social media to announce the give-away.
What did Pastor Emrey learn this weekend?
“Social media works! It worked too well in our situation, and we will limit the channels of communication in the future in order to prevent people coming out needlessly,” Emrey says.
Emrey also was struck by the depths of food insecurity in our region. “I couldn’t believe how far people came in order to get food.”
New Beginnings Christian Community is committed to continue their feeding ministry. Please call or text the church at (434) 249-5691 to reserve a food box at their weekly food distribution on Wednesdays, 1 to 4 pm, and Saturdays, 10 to 11 am, now through June 10.
The church also needs volunteers to help them continue this work!
Volunteers are needed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, 9 am to 1 pm to pick up food from Walmart and Food Lion, and to shelve and pack food boxes. Please use this SignUp Genius to help with packing food boxes on Mondays, Tuesday, and Fridays.
Volunteers are also needed on Wednesdays, 1 to 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays, 9 am to 12 noon to pack and distribute food boxes. Please use this SignUp Genius to help with the Wednesday and Saturday food distribution.
“Jesus tells us to feed the hungry,” says Pastor Emrey. “And we want to do our part to relieve food insecurity, especially during this pandemic.”
Posted by Michael Cheuk, Secretary, Charlottesville Clergy Collective