More than 1,000 boxes of food distributed in Copperas Cove by North Pointe
By BRITTANY FHOLER
North Pointe Church distributed more than 1,000 boxes of food to the public Wednesday afternoon at North Pointe Park as part of the USDA Farmers to Families program.
Although the distribution officially started at noon, some people were in line and waiting at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., according to Brent Sanders, one of the lead pastors at North Pointe Church.
“A lot of those cars were doing deliveries,” Sanders said. “We had people texting and calling that did not have a vehicle and they couldn’t get out of their home, and we had people from the community saying ‘Hey, can I help in anyway?’”
Sanders said these people then helped in delivering the boxes of food to those unable to come out. One woman came by to pick up a box for her family and ended up taking six other boxes to bring back for her neighbors, he added.
Another delivery went to a representative from Copperas Cove ISD to give to some of the students, he said.
“That’s all happening just because people believe in it,” Sanders said. “When you text and email school districts and cities, you don’t know what they’re going to do, but praise God, our school district, they put it on their Facebook page. They sent it out and they let the families know.”
The city also posted about the food distribution on its Facebook page, and the Leader-Press ran an article about it last week.
Sanders said the response has been overwhelming.
“Within less than an hour, we’ve had 184 cars come through, and on this truck, we got 1,260 boxes of food and 1,344 gallons of milk,” Sanders said.
Each box of food included a bag of chicken nuggets, two bags of shredded cheese, hot dogs, cottage cheese, apples and potatoes plus the gallon of milk. Each box also came with a letter from President Donald Trump.
The boxes were part of the USDA Farmers to Families program which was started in April 2020 as a way to help farmers and distributors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was started under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Through the progam, the USDA partnered with national, regional and local distributors to purchase up to $4 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers.
The boxes distributed Wednesday were part of the third and latest round of distributed food under the program. Since the creation of the Farmers to Families program, more than 108 million boxes had been invoiced for, according to the USDA website.
Also on hand Wednesday were volunteers with Gideon International to hand out free Bibles and other Christian books to each car. There were also volunteers at tables under umbrellas available to offer prayer or an encouraging word.
“I’m just happy that we could be a conduit, and that’s the whole thing,” Sanders said. “This is nothing that we did, we’re just being a conduit. We’re part of that pipeline.”
Sanders said that this was definitely needed in the community.
“This has been a real answered prayer, I think, for the community as a whole, to show people that people are thinking of them, people care, and they’re not forgotten,” Sanders said. “A lot of these people think they’re forgotten about.”
When Christina Cook picked up boxes of food for her family, she agreed that it was an answered prayer.
“It means the world to me because my grandkids are just eating us out of house and home, ages 23 to 8 months. There’s nine of them,” Cook said. “It helps me to make sure they’re not starving. To me, it’s truly a gift from God. I really appreciate it.”
Cook said she hardly ever goes to food banks and doesn’t receive food stamps, but her family has been struggling in keeping food on the table.
“Their mother’s working herself ragged, and I’m getting a job,” Cook said. “I know what it’s like to starve, but they don’t.”
Cook said she appreciated the food so very much.
“I know my grandkids. They’re going to help me unload this, and they’re going to help put it up, and they’re going to attack it,” Cook said.
For Adreana Madison, the boxes of food also served as an extra bit of help.
“One of my friends called me because I’m struggling a little bit, and this is really nice actually to help people out,” Madison said. “I feel like there’s a lot of people that are struggling right now due to COVID, and it’s going to help people, help brighten up their days, the people who don’t have anything.”