School is officially out, and summer is here! At Second Harvest Food Bank, we have been busy with the start of our Summer Feeding Program to provide children with free, healthy meals, on top of our regular distributions. Needless to say, we’ve been incredibly busy at Second Harvest, and it is all hands on deck!
This month, in addition to everyone who is helping at our distributions, we welcomed back some additional groups to help with sorting donated items and packing our senior boxes, in anticipation of the National Guards departure in July. We’re excited to have so many volunteers back at our warehouse and throughout the community!
Volunteer Feature: Donna Smith of United Church of South Vienna
United Church of South Vienna in Clark County has partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank and hosted food distributions for over four years. Donna Smith has helped coordinate and organize these food distributions the entire time, and she absolutely loves it.
In addition to the meal distributions, the United Church of South Vienna has also handed out items they collected in the past, such as coats. With the help of church and community volunteers, they would open the doors to their church on the third Wednesday of every month and welcome more than 70 people at their distributions, whom Donna referred to as their friends. The sense of community was overwhelming (in a good way!), since the church “handed out numbers so people were free to wander around and visit with each other” while they waited for their food.
However, due to the pandemic, the distributions at United Church of South Vienna transitioned to drive-thru distributions, with assistance from the National Guards. As Donna described it, “When COVID hit, we kind of lost our friends.” While Donna was glad they could still provide food to their friends, she missed the conversations and personal 1-on-1 interactions with the people that she saw on a monthly basis.
This month, United Church of South Vienna hosted their first walk-up pantry since the pandemic. Donna was thrilled to see some familiar friends, as well as some new faces, walking around the distribution. “Hopefully, slowly, the people we know as our friends start coming back,” Donna said.
“We thoroughly enjoy having them out there, we enjoy talking to them especially. My favorite part is just having everyone out there,” Donna shared. “We don’t do it for the praise. But people are legitimately happy that we are out there and they legitimately like our church. It makes our church feel part of the community, that's the thing we strive for.”
We are lucky to partner with the United Church of South Vienna as one of our monthly distribution sites, and we thank all the church and community volunteers who make that distribution possible!
Recognizing June Volunteers
Thank you to every individual and group who volunteered with us in our warehouse or at our distributions this month!
A very special thank you to:
Barb Kauffman Group
Champaign Economic Partnership
Choice Properties Real Estate
Citizens Federal Savings & Loan
Covenant Presbyterian Church
First United Methodist Church
Goodwill Easterseals Youth Leadership Academy
Harper Community Church
Jamie Errett & Family
Logan County Sheriff’s Office
Mercy Health of Urbana
Rushsylvania United Methodist
United Church of South Vienna
Vonnie Eubanks Group
Aldi District Managers
Middle Urbana Missionary Baptist Church
Dan Metzger & Ridgewood School
We are extremely grateful to all of our volunteers this month! Enjoy the sunshine this summer, stay hydrated, and check out our volunteering opportunities at our distributions and warehouse!
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