Feed The Children, Teleperformance and First Apostolic Church partnered Friday to provide a tractor-trailor truck of food and personal items for hungry area families. Second Harvest Food Bank donated bread and pastry items.
ALBANY — Cars on Lumpkin Street in east Albany were backed up about a quarter mile from First Apostolic Church Friday morning, an easy indication the food giveaway program for area families was being well received.
The event was made possible by a partnership of Teleperformance, a local call center which donated money for the food; Feed The Children, a large and widely known charity, and First Apostolic Church. Featured was a tractor-trailer truck filled with boxes of food and hygienic items for 400 people.
In addition, bread and pastry items were provided by Second Harvest Food Bank. According to Feed The Children sources, more than half the children in Albany are considered impoverished.
People in long lines waited more than half an hour to receive a 25-pound box of items such as canned goods, pasta, rice and bottled water and a 10-pound box of personal items. Dressed in company T-shirts, Teleperformance volunteers helped distribute boxes and unload the truck, which had arrived Friday from North Dakota. Vickie Anderson, human resources coordinator for Teleperformance, said the company had been a partner in the event for six years.
“The (Second Harvest) food bank came in to partner with us for the first time this year,” Anderson said. “They brought the bread and pastries.”
A woman identifying herself only as Queen, said she’s not working currently and heard about the event from a friend.
“Anything would be a help,” Queen said, “I have a 19-year-old and a 10-year-old. Hard times are everywhere so I thought I’d just come down and get in line.”
“There are so many hungry people,” said Eloise Frazier, “and needless to say I’m among the ones that are. I think it’s a great thing being done for the community. Not only are they giving away food but they got people out here who will help you with it and put the boxes in your car.”
Lillie Thomas, coordinator of hospitality for First Apostolic Church, and Betty Jackson, pastor, helped organize what they say is the 14th year of the event.
“I just think it’s a marvelous thing,” Jackson said. “We’ve had participation from a lot of vendors but most of the event came from Teleperformance and Feed The Children. We just appreciate the fact that we can do something to be a part of the solution and not the problem.”
Thomas talked about a Christmas event for which her church has been hard at work raising money and food donations. She said the event will take place the second Saturday in December and has been sponsored by her church for 14 years.
“We serve turkeys and hams for Christmas,” Thomas said. “We’re a small church, but we believe in doing big things. We’re trying to give something back to the community where people will have a good Christmas. We’re trying to provide light where there is darkness.”
Jackson said there are people as far away as Tifton and Valdosta who regularly donate to First Apostolic’s hunger programs, one recent donation being an entire “field of greens.”
The church is always requesting and welcoming donations, Jackson said, and those who would like to make donations of money or food should call (229) 869-1549 or (229) 438-5339.