holiday

Students help feed 250 families with the Lancaster Holiday Food Drive

South Lancaster Academy students volunteered with the Greater Lancaster Holiday Gift Baskets and Food Drive this month to feed 253 families, encompassing 889 people.

This annual community event brings members of area churches and the school together to provide a week's worth of food for families in need. 

This is a well-coordinated undertaking that requires many steps. SLA students stapled notes on hundreds of grocery bags requesting people to fill the bags with nonperishable food. Then teams of area church members and Pathfinders delivered the bags to homes in Lancaster and Clinton.

The following week, the teams returned to the homes to collect the bags of donated food and brought them to the College Church. There they sorted the food, separating items that were expired and grouping similar food items together.

The next part takes the longest--packing boxes with enough food to feed each family for a week. An individual may get one box, whereas a family of six may get three larger boxes. SLA students helped in this step of packing the boxes and praying for the families receiving the food.

Many students also joined their churches and families in delivering the bags, collecting the food and sorting the donated items.

Each year, volunteers share stories of how the food multiplies and the expressions of gratitude from the recipients.

"When we ran out of an item, we found out that more than what we needed was already on the way to us," said Joyce Malin, one of the volunteer organizers. "Or when beans ran out, I knew more was coming on Sunday."

We're grateful our students have this opportunity to live out Matthew 25:35, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in."

Students praying in the Fellowship Hall at the College Church for the families that will receive these boxes of food.

Students praying in the Fellowship Hall at the College Church for the families that will receive these boxes of food.