March 25 • 08:30 PM

Food giveaway draws crowd

Dozens of families drive up for free food at Attica United Methodist Church

May 27, 2009
ATTICA TWP. — A long line of cars and pickup trucks pulled up to the United Methodist Church last Friday, all seeking food staples for their respective families.

Church officials said more than 200 families were presented free food items during a giveaway that had been coordinated through the Eastern Michigan Food Bank.

Frits Bax was one of 30 volunteers who helped distribute the 12 pallets of food destined for needy families and individuals.

The food items included five-pound bags of potatoes, frozen chicken, energy bars, bread, cereal, five-pound bags of flour, various canned goods, frozen meats and beverages.

"Traffic was backed up on Elk Lake Road in both directions," said Bax. "The volunteers put the bags and boxes (of food) into their vehicles. They didn't even have to get out of their cars."

Volunteer Jay Carlson lifts another load of free goods destined for families in need of assistance.

Those seeking food were required only to give their names, addresses and family size. Each vehicle was tagged so the volunteers could provide the recipients with a sufficient number of items.

Participants were also given brochures about church services, employment club activities and information pertaining to a financial assistance course that will be offered later in the summer and in the fall.

Bax noted several accounts of individuals who expressed their appreciation for the food.

"One lady driver had to turn her car off while waiting in line, because she didn't have enough gas to let it idle," said Bax. "She said she was so grateful to get the food for her kids."

Bax said another individual on a motorcycle stuffed a 30-pound box of chicken and other items into his saddlebags. "He said they would help feed his family of five."

Bax's wife, Jan, said the church volunteers were bolstered from the opportunity to help others.

"I really think the volunteers got as much from the experience as the recipients of the food," she said. "It was a wonderful day and we'd like to be able to do it again. There is an element of trust to doing something like this, but there are a lot of needy people out there."

The event was sponsored through the Heaven Sent Ministries Food Bank in Marlette, which is assisting the Attica church in starting its own food bank.

The food giveaway was initiated by Margie Bryce, pastor of Attica United Methodist Church, who had participated in previous efforts through the Eastern Michigan Food Bank.

The church is located at 27 Elk Lake Road in Attica. For more information, call 724-0690.

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