Food Drive Benefits Norman Adventist Community Services
NORMAN, OKLA. – The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) conducted its 30th annual national food drive on Saturday, May 14. The Stamp Out Hunger®Food Drive, the country’s largest single-day food drive, provided residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need.
On Saturday, May 14, as they delivered mail, the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers collected donations left by residents near their mailboxes. Each year, people are encouraged to leave a bag containing nonperishable foods for mail delivery on that Saturday.
The Norman Seventh-day Adventist Church has utilized this donated food for several years. Our church volunteers hauled several truckloads of food to the church where volunteers spent several hours sorting and boxing. This annual infusion of food helps reduce the amount of food that must be purchased by our local Adventist Community Services (ACS) for the upcoming year.
Carol Buckmaster, ACS director, hears firsthand the impact this outreach has on our community. “We assist clients through times of crisis, such as sickness, loss of employment, a death in the family and other critical life events. Our clients are very diverse. A few days ago a homeless family of five living in their car came to our pantry and clothes closet. They had been evicted from their apartment after complaining about mold. They had no place to cook, so we let them go through our pantry and select items that had pop-top cans containing fruits, soups and vegetables. There were also packets of whole milk and juices that did not require refrigeration. They also selected laundry soap and personal care items, such as hand sanitizer, wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant. They were very appreciative that we had made their circumstances more livable.”
Each year the church provides assistance for thousands of neighbors with food, clothing and personal items. Our primary source of funds is received from church members and a fixed percentage of our church’s monthly combined budget.
During the early months of COVID-19, the ministry was operating by appointment only. Carol Buckmaster was obviously disappointed and troubled by the closure since its impact on the local community would certainly be felt by those most vulnerable. She sought help from Joy Pelfrey who is a public health professional specializing in infectious diseases. Pelfrey wrote health and safety protocols for the reopening of the ACS ministry to safely serve local families.
Please pray for our continued success in serving our neighbors and planting seeds of hope and salvation.
By Mark Pelfrey