As the Holiday Season rolls on, Mother Nature has been kind...cold clear nights, sunny days, allowing completion of the Food Pantry. Overhead lighting is installed and will be energized in a day or two.
Shelving is complete, sanded, varnished, and sanded again. Cleaning products from Disaster Relief Buckets have been stocked on shelves - a few full buckets are held in reserve on the floor awaiting shelve space.
Today is Wednesday...open house for the Food Bank. A big crowd is expected.
One donor left three huge bags of stuffed animals...to be given away free today.
Pastor Steve has negotiated for a "new" truck (above) to fetch food from surrounding supermarkets -
The Food Bank Van was destroyed - along with the homes of Pastor Steve and daughters Melinda and Mandy - by Hurricane IRENE.
Donors still drop off product daily.
Pastor Steve and Terry returned from their early morning food run at 9:00 am. At least 50 people were lined up waiting off-loading and stocking of the shelves...in the mean time, most of the stuffed animals were already sitting on seats of waiting vehicles.
Steve is completing the off-loading
Many folks placed prior orders for meats, fruits and veggies. Betty's fingers were frost-bitten packing frozen meats into boxes and bags according to the written orders...talk about "service"...
Shelves packed to near capacity were half-empty within one hour.
Since the Food Bank is not subsidized by the Government - all activity is from individuals or local businesses -, all items are available from the Food Bank - at NO COST - to any and all who have a need. Those wishing to make a $$ donation may do so.
Records are maintained of large orders for frozen meats...to preclude emptying of the two freezers by a few... everyone, therefore, has an opportunity to take home some meat. Large meat orders are available only once a month to a single individual.
Betty is busy filling frozen meat orders. Shelves of cleaning products are full, with more waiting in buckets for shelf space.
The three cardboard boxes on the table are FULL of fresh fruits and veggies...there was no time to empty, sort, and display these items because of the large number of folks on hand as the truck was unloaded.
There are advertised hours the Food Bank is open...however, if someone stops when the Food Pantry Doors are open, they are not turned away empty handed.
Pastor Steve and Betty have kept me busy from 8:30 am til dark the past few days...P. Steve says it will get much more busy as Christmas approaches. These two are an inspiration...I have yet to see Betty sit or take a break...and they are doing it out of their own resources...all for those less fortunate.
In the past days, even other shelters and pastors have dropped by to pick up boxes of items.
Incredible...just incredible !
The contractors are nearing completion of flood damage repairs to DEJA VU. One more week will see the yard of DEJA VU clean of Hurricane IRENE trash.
This weekend I plan to once again attack Hurricane IRENE Highway SR 12 litter pickup.
Mosquitoes are still out in force. Me? I'm fine...surrounded by such wonderful people, how could I not be?