Nine members of the Unity Church of Sun Lakes recently descended on the warehouse of Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank to assist the coordinator of the Meals to Grow program.
The volunteers helped to fill week-end backpacks of food for school-age children. From uncrating the items and placing them in accessible bins to filling plastic sacks with non-perishable food items, the work was a joy for the small but energetic group.
Most people aren’t aware that 1 in 6 kids in Arizona don’t know where their next meal is coming from. These are kids in our own Chandler Unified School District: homeless students, couch surfers, and kids from families who simply don’t have enough money to feed everyone every day.
It’s Matthew’s Crossing’s mission to help alleviate that problem. Between 1,000 and 1,200 bags are filled per week to help make sure that kids have some nourishment even on days they are not in school and receiving a lunch.
The nonprofit works to provide food to preschool through college-age students throughout Maricopa County. They provide food closets, weekend backpacks, summers school snack packs, grab and go food packs for patient’s family members at various cancer centers for Amanda Hope (a nonprofit that help families of children suffering from cancer) and much more.
Matthew’s Crossing also puts together Teacher Appreciation gift bags in November, each filled with several donated items.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” said Jill Ponce, a Unity Church member. “I’m so glad I did it,” said Maria Blanding, president of the church’s board of directors.
“This was putting love into action,” said minister Jeanne MacLaughlin when she heard the comments from the volunteers.
Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank encourages support in three different ways: donating non-perishable foods; physically volunteering on-site at their warehouse (Tuesdays 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and donating funds to help them purchase items not given to them by food donors.
Unity Church does all three, having supported Matthew’s Crossing with tithes, food donations and volunteering. Volunteers are also need for the Emergency Food Box Distribution program, Mondays – Friday.
To volunteer, call Jennifer, the Meals to Grow Coordinator at 480-857-2296.
To learn how you can support Matthew’s Crossing, visit their website at matthewscrossing.org.