At the day job we’ve been running annual food drives for Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC for ten years. Every year we try to do better than the last and so I find myself doing what appear to be silly or crazy things to gin up publicity and interest for our efforts – things like wearing a pink tutu while jumping into a pool with the word EPIC painted on my back. You may wonder why someone would do something that odd, but when you read about some of the programs that Second Harvest supports it becomes clear that a little embarrassment is the least we can do for an organization that fills a vital role for our community. Scott Sexton’s column in today’s Winston-Salem Journal brings us the story of one of those programs:
In six short months, the H.O.P.E. truck has become a staple in neighborhoods where fresh food is often a rumor.
It is part of a larger project dreamed up by Tennille and his wife, Marty, a retired couple with hearts as big as their imaginations. When they learned that children in Winston-Salem are more likely to go hungry than kids in Detroit or Chicago, they were horrified.
But instead of wringing their hands, stamping their feet in protest or simply writing a check, they decided to do something about it…
Since it started rolling in January, H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem has mushroomed into something of which the entire community should be proud.
The Tennilles pick up items from the Second Harvest Food Bank and 50-pound bags of fresh food donated by the Vernon Produce Co. during the week.
A small group of volunteers meets every Saturday in a retreat center at the Children’s Home, where they set up an assembly line to make healthy bag lunches for kids and to box up fresh produce for adults who come with them. Groups from a variety of churches assemble lunches at their buildings, too, and pack them into giant coolers so a volunteer can pick them up later.
Around noon on Sundays, more volunteers start to trickle in at The Children’s Home to load the truck and a similarly painted minivan. The entire operation runs like Swiss trains; it stops at the same places every Sunday at the same time. By the time it finishes, more than 700 children get to eat and a few dozen food boxes are distributed.
By the way if you want to help us support Second Harvest you can do so by making a donation at helpsecondharvest.com. Also, if you want to see me embarrass myself yet again you can drive by the Robinhood Court Apartments and Villas this Thursday (July 10) from 4-5 p.m. where I’ll be part of “Two Guys Wearing Prom Dresses” to raise funds for Second Harvest. You guessed it: I’ll be wearing a dress. Here’s a handy map for you find us: