Many of you know we had an event tonight. We’re incredibly blessed to have the support of the congregation of St Paul AME. For over a year, we’ve held Forever Fed block parties on their campus. During that time, we’ve seen the relationship between St Paul AME, the Crisler Road community and ForeverFed blossom. Tonight one of our friends, who must deal with life challenges that I simply cannot comprehend, had a need. Her need was a simply necessity that 99.999999% of America sees as a “trivial” issue of life: she needed toilet paper. For those of you who don’t know, food stamps don’t allow for the purchase of basic hygiene needs like toilet paper.
I can only imagine how humiliating it must be, to have to ask someone for toilet paper. We all deserve to have a certain amount of dignity in our personal lives. Not having to ask someone for toilet paper meets the “dignity” threshold for me.
Earlier in the day, Susan and I put together a preliminary order for the “large food distribution” (Atlanta Food Bank’s terminology), that will happen, next weekend. If you are unaware of this event, then you haven’t talked to Susan or I in the past month or so, because it’s become a major obsession, since we’re looking to distribute at least 35,000 pounds of food (yes, you read that correctly 17.5 tons of food), to 500 families.
As you know, ForeverFed strives to provide balanced meals to families in need. That same goal applies to this food distribution. Once we completed the selection of food items, ensuring that we had a balance of lean meat, vegetables and high quality starches, we found that we were looking to order 37,000 lb of food that equate to almost 54,000 meals.
To say that we were feeling a little overwhelmed by the opportunity that God had put before us would be a gross understatement. In light of that monumental grocery distribution task, buying toilet paper for one lady in need was a “no brainer”.
After packing up all of our supplies, at the end of tonight’s event, we headed to the Canton Dollar General . Susan went in to buy toilet paper. On the way our, she saw the store manager, who was talking to a young couple, outside the front door. Given the community that this Dollar General serves, Susan decided to ask the store manager if she would be willing to hand out a few fliers for the “large food distribution”. The young man asked “when is this, because we have nothing to eat?”
As it turns out, not only did this young couple need something to eat, but the young lady is 3 months pregnant. In addition, their friends, who were sitting in the car, had nothing to eat and the young woman was also pregnant.
We had food left over from tonight’s event. We had a 3” deep pan of chicken and rice (like a chicken cacciatore), a large salad (greens and high quality veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes), fruit salad (peaches and pineapple) and chocolate pudding, for dessert. It was enough food to feed the four young people until the food distribution.
Just having enough food to provide a meal is a blessing in and of itself. God taking a humbling need (toilet paper) to put us in a situation to meet the needs of these young people is over whelming. The sheer joy and gratitude that these young people showed us breaks my heart.
These kids are 2-3 years older than our sons. While Susan ran back into Dollar General to buy containers for the fruit salad, I couldn’t help but see, not only my kids, but my nieces and nephews, in these kids and wonder who would help them, if they didn’t feel that they could come to their parents for help. The kids, in my life, come from stable homes, where mom and dad could help them, when they need it. For one reason or another, these kids couldn’t go to their ‘biological’ parents for help. Instead, they were helped by our Father above.
There’s no other rational explanation for what happened tonight.
I want to personally thank every person who has ever helped ForeverFed. Whether it was through your prayers, your gifts or even 5 seconds of your service, you had a hand in Bob and Susan going to Dollar General, in Canton, GA and providing desperately needed food to not one, but two very appreciative young families.