Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 11, 2009

Americans' generosity arrives by the truckload

<b>Food aid distributed to 5,200 local families</b>

ELKHART - Help for struggling Elkhart County residents came by the truckloads Tuesday.

Feed The Children ­— a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization that delivers food and other necessities to families in need — rolled 13 semi-trucks through Elkhart. The stop was part of the “Americans Feeding Americans Emergency Caravan” food distribution tour.

Roughly 5,200 families in the area received food.

The national organization based out of Oklahoma City partnered with Granger Community Church to provide a box of food and personal care items to local residents in need. The boxes are meant to supplement a family for up to a week. Long-time Feed The Children partner STAR Touring & Riding Association, as well as UPS and Martin’s Supermarkets, had members on hand to assist with the distribution. Volunteers from Goshen College and students from various middle schools in this area also chipped in by taking food vouchers and delivering food to families in the northeast parking lot of the mall. Larry Jones, founder and president of Feed The Children, estimated there were roughly 400 volunteers throughout the day.

“When we announced what we were doing in Elkhart County,” Jones said, “the number of volunteers that wanted to help were through the roof.”

Jones said he was impressed by the number of young people who wanted to help.

Jones said there was approximately a half million pounds of food that was eventually distributed to local families with a market value of $2.1 million.

A press conference was held prior to the food distribution. Joel Osteen, author and pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, was on hand to deliver a message of hope. Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore also briefly spoke, thanking those who volunteered their time and efforts to help distribute food.

“Everybody is giving from their hearts,” Moore said. “The only thing that isn’t cooperating is the weather.”

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