On December 21, the Saturday before Christmas, many of us were finishing Christmas shopping, preparing for guests in our homes or to travel to family for the holidays. In Franklin at Grace UMC, over 20 volunteers were at the church early Saturday morning to unload 40,000 pounds of potatoes and distribute them from the church parking lot. This was one of the produce drops coordinated by Society of St. Andrew in 2019.
The truck arrived before 6:00 am, with pallets containing packages of five 10-pound bags to be unloaded. A little before 8 am, representatives from hunger relief agencies and individuals began arriving, some picking up a few thousand pounds, others a few bags. By 9 a.m., over half of the 40,000 pounds had been distributed. By noon, all of the potatoes were gone, with 11 organizations from Johnson, Marion, Shelby, and Morgan counties taking 16,400 pounds. 2,000 pounds were picked up by Access Johnson County, the public transportation provider in the county, for drivers who would distribute to their passengers in the coming week. Some of the organizations represented included Johnson County Senior Services, Fletcher Place Community Center, Abundant Vida Nueva UMC, and Manna Mission. The remaining 23,600 pounds were distributed to individuals. Folks picked them up for their families, friends, neighbors and themselves. One individual found out about the event from his dad who attends Grace UMC, and he decided to get 60 bags and deliver them to Dayspring Center, a center for families experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis.
Society of St. Andrew’s mission is to bring people together to harvest and share healthy food, reduce food waste and build caring communities by offering nourishment to hungry neighbors. They meet this mission by partnering with farmers, churches, organizations, and individuals. Metro Ministries, Inc. is proud to have supported this potato drop event, and we would love to help coordinate potato drops at other Central Indiana UM churches. Contact Tina McAninch if your church is interested. For more information on produce drops as well as other food gleaning opportunities, check out www.endhunger.org/indiana.