Halloween Food Drive

11 Nov

Me with all the goods!

If you’ve read my blog entries, you may know that my husband and I run a Halloween Food Drive every year.  We came up with the idea a few years ago – I can’t remember how exactly – but we decided to collect canned goods while we went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.  (We’re Halloween junkies – our house is always so decked out with spooky decorations, we were known by all our neighbors well before we started the food drive!)

Every year, our total number of bags has increased.  Our neighbors have come to expect us at their doorstep on October 31st, begging not just for candy, but for non-perishables.  It’s a lot of work on our part, but we’re lucky to have help from family members, either toting food back to our house when our wagon gets full, or just watching our kids when they get too pooped to keep going.

This year, we also got some outside help.  My sister-in-law is the 1st Vice-President of the ACA Optimist Club, an Arlington organization that offers cheerleading and dance for pre-K to 6th grade kids.  She said they needed a community project – could they donate to my food drive?  I was excited, and immediately said yes.  This could bring in a huge haul!

We usually give our donations to the Tarrant Area Food Bank, but this year we wanted to find a smaller food pantry, one that could really be helped by our modest food drive.  After a little bit of searching around, we decided to give our donations to the following two organizations:

1) The Vine Fellowship is a church in south Arlington.  They run a small food pantry that generally draws in people from the immediate area around the church.  Every Wednesday, they open their food pantry from 4-5 pm.  Anyone who needs help with food is welcome to come, but the church asks that people try to come only every other week as needed.  They have a set “fill a bag” system, in which they stock each grocery sack with the same general staples.  They give one bag to each person who shows up when the food pantry is open, usually around 15 people.  Their shelves are cleaned out each week!  They typically see elderly people coming in for food.

2) Grace Presbyterian Church, located in south Arlington, runs a program called New Day.  They coordinate with social workers, counselors, nurses, and teachers to provide food to high school teens in Arlington Public Schools.  These teens are typically struggling with difficult circumstances, such as homelessness, and they are striving to stay in school.  Often, these young people do not have any food to eat on the weekends.  New Day delivers food to the high schools, which is then passed on to the teens.

Organized and ready to be packed up for delivery!

As I had hoped, our take was HUGE this year – probably four times the size it’s ever been.  Thanks to my friends, my book club, my neighbors, and all the kids with the ACA Optimist Club for making this such a huge success!  Both organizations were overwhelmed with appreciation as my family delivered all the donations.  What a difference we’ve all made in the lives of people in our community!

For more information on the ACA Optimist Club, visit www.acaoptimistclub.com.

If you would like to made donations to either The Vine Fellowship or the New Day program at Grace Presbyterian Church, please contact me at jen@morethanmothers.com.

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2 Responses to “Halloween Food Drive”

  1. Stephanie November 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Holy cow, Jen – that is SO awesome! I think it’s so great that you do that. You are such a good role model for your kids – well, for everyone! 🙂

  2. Lisa Martin November 12, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    How awesome is all that food!?! Those Optimist cheerleaders rock–as do you!!

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