• Sherry Coffill

The Food Distribution Need

I had seen pictures and commentaries on the “breadlines“ in the 1920s, but had never experienced the need or occasion personally. In 2010, after taking care of my daughter with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for 4 1/2 years and helping to raise my granddaughter, I found myself with only half of my household income when my daughter passed.

I was left to raise my precious granddaughter on a limited fixed income.

The summer before my daughter passed, I had grown a large Garden and done a lot of canning.

We had free range chickens for eggs, but what we missed was meat!

My sister had told me about a church that was giving out boxes of food and I approached the pastor of my church to see if we could do the same thing.

He said, “Go for it!”

I had a need and an opportunity was born!

My pastor always told me I had the heart of a servant and thus, the name of the ministry! That was nine years ago...!

The Food Ministry developed and evolved from point zero to a full-blown nonprofit serving several counties.

I had the opportunity to set it up on a “stated need“ basis with the goal being to improve the quality of life overall for my community.

I did not want any stigma attached to receiving food from a food distribution, but rather a means to improve the quality of life for the recipient and their family.

One time, I was speaking at a Rotary Club meeting and a judge asked me, “The way you have it set up, could someone like me receive food?“

I responded, “Absolutely! Your life may be moving along smoothly and suddenly you find yourself in a catastrophic situation… a serious medical situation, a family crisis, or unexpected financial difficulty (lay off, job loss, etc)

Receiving free food will be one less expense to help you over the hump and that is exactly what this is designed to do.”

It is not designed to be a lifestyle, however, I have found that many people need the FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS in order to live.

Some of the contributing causes are...

  1. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

  2. Working poor (both parents work and still don’t make enough to support their family

  3. Those that fall between the cracks (unemployed or waiting for food stamps/disability)

  4. Low fixed incomes (Elderly)

  5. those experiencing catastrophic events.

People that have to exist on FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS to feed their families are by no means lazy!

Think of the energy it takes to plan and coordinate transportation and scheduling your life around distribution times and locations.

Also the skills needed to creatively plan and cook meals for your family based on what is available at these distributions. Since most of the fruits and vegetables offered are seasonal, knowing how to preserve food is essential.

It is all a matter of how one views this food source and lifestyle....

I find it to be an opportunity born out of adversity!


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