I am overwhelmed in a very good way. There have so many phone calls, so many donations of all denominations coming in since the story of our food pantry was aired. There are so many kind and concerned folks who care about what happens in the town of Hastings. My deepest, most sincere thanks to everyone who has donated or called with suggestions. I have every hope that this out pouring of generosity will help keep our little food bank open and serving the needs of so many.
Yesterday at the mobile food pantry, I gathered the volunteers around and thanked them for giving their time and energy to help their neighbors. This wonderful group of diverse people have come together for a cause. Watching them grow with confidence, treat each and every person who comes through the line with dignity and respect and seeing how they have worked together to make this event possible, has been such a joy for me. The volunteers come from all walks of life here in Hastings and in a town so entrenched in cultural and economic diversity, bringing them all together for a common goal has been as rewarding to me as giving away food.
They cheered yesterday for Mrs. Landess, the woman who shared her story in the First Coast News story. They thanked her for putting a face on hunger in this town. They even joked with her about being a star and wanting her autograph. She smiled quietly and thanked them all for doing what they do.
At the end of the day, we distributed nearly 1700 pounds of food to 98 folks in line and five volunteers spread out across the area to deliver bags of food to 53 elderly or homebound residents. In this week’s bag, there was hamburger or chicken, lunchmeat or a small picnic ham, bottled water and coffee, cookies and chips, peanut butter and lots of bread, the occasional apple pie or pack of cinnamon buns, some tomatoes and limes, a few peppers and tangerines and a bag of salad. The cost for yesterday’s food – $227. That is $1.75 per person. That is a pretty good deal.
And those 99 people who stood in line, as well as the 12 volunteers who helped make it all happen, donated a total of $122.06 yesterday. Most of it was in dollar bills, some of it was in coins, but it was a whole lot of money from folks who don’t have a whole lot of money.
Plans are to take next week and regroup and see what happens with the donations. My hope is that we can get enough money coming in to continue at least through the end of the year.
Thank you everyone, for the calls of support, the donations and most especially the compassion in your hearts for the folks in this community. I know they share in extending our heartfelt gratitude to all who have come forward.
No one made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.