A quick glance at the numbers through January 2020
1.5 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
4.5 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
929 Passionate Volunteers Engaged
186 Events to End Hunger Held
208 Recipient Agencies Received Food
And a story of good news…
Today’s story is about two farmers who made a huge impact on their local communities. They donated what they had available– lima beans and bean shellers.
First, Chris, who is from Tennessee, found himself with a truckload of lima beans still in the shell. The season was ending, prices were dropping and he had thousands of pounds of lima beans in the shell unsold. But he couldn’t afford to shell them, package them, ship them, and then sell them at a loss.
But Chris didn’t want them to waste these beans, so he called the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA). He knew SoSA would have a solution!
In a matter of hours, volunteers were recruited to help repackage and distribute these beans.
Shelling beans is a time-consuming task though. It would take hours to peel all those shells by hand, just to have enough beans for a single meal for one family. It would take days to peel enough beans to share with hundreds of clients at a food pantry.
And when it comes to fresh produce, the clock is always ticking!
Most food has to be kept cold until it’s eaten. There is often very little notice about a food donation and then it must be packaged in a practical size and delivered to the recipients, all within a short period.
But the SoSA volunteers involved were not afraid of the challenge! They were ready to shell these lima beans by hand if it meant they could help feed their hungry neighbors.
These volunteers would soon discover a hidden blessing in their SoSA staff person, Timothy- he’s also a farmer by trade. And as a farmer, he had a specific set of skills and tools to help these volunteers impact their communities in a small amount of time!
Timothy lent his farm’s “pea and bean shellers” to the volunteers for a few hours. He worked with the volunteers, training and teaching them how to use the machines.
Timothy shared two reasons why he wanted to help in this way. First, he wanted to feed hungry people in his community. Second, he wanted to teach these volunteers a useful lesson. Timothy enjoys teaching people about where their food comes from.