YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The international missions organization Feed the Children brought a tractor trailer full of food and essentials to about 400 families in the Mahoning Valley on Saturday.
Crossroads Church in Youngstown is working with the organization to work to combat hunger. The church felt this was one of the best ways to give back to its community, especially around the Easter holiday.
“Each family will receive three boxes,” said Pastor Dave Watkins. “We brought in a whole semi truck, 1,200 units, and we are passing them out to local families who have been selected.”
The boxes contained food, essentials and items like deodorant and makeup donated by Avon.
A teacher at the church reached out to local school districts and other groups to identify families in need. Those families received vouchers to come and pick up boxes.
“We just know that in our own community, that hunger is prevalent. It’s not just in third-world countries, it’s right here in our backyard,” Watkins said.
Feed the Children’s Director of Church Engagement, Kevin Richardson, says the organization works in 18 different countries, helping to feed over 263,000 children each day. Most of their efforts are focused on helping people in the U.S.
“The church just caught the vision, and really did a great job of pulling their resources together and reaching out to the schools to make this event possible,” Richardson said.
He says Feed the Children buys most of the food it donates so it’s not coming from people’s pantries or about to expire. Richardson says giving quality products increases the recipients’ self-worth.
“We want to express to everyone that they are valuable, that they are beautiful and that just because they may not have the financial resources that others have, doesn’t mean they are any less.”
Richardson was able to see the donations’ effect on someone first-hand on Saturday. A woman opened her boxes before she left, and saw that she received Avon lipstick. She came back to thank everyone.
“She had a job interview the following week and she didn’t have the resources to get any makeup for herself,” he said. “To be able to have that to go into her interview, she said, ‘Now I feel like I have a chance.'”