The Action Against Hunger™ Food Drive celebrated its 25th anniversary last Sunday and CUMAC was thrilled to be a part of it! The drive was started back in 1991 in response to the growing hunger problem, and though much has changed since its inception, the drive remains important as ever to the hungry and the food pantries that serve them. We’ve been hearing some fun facts and wonderful stories about the drive all week long so we thought we’d share them with you. Here are some of our favorites:
- A group of our volunteers were collecting food outside of a local supermarket when a man walked out of the store holding a large bag of charcoal. It was the man’s birthday and he was celebrating with a huge BBQ with friends and family. He was on his way home, but after hearing about the food drive he immediately stopped and went back in the store. A few minutes later he came back with 5 bags packed with food and said, “No one ever goes hungry on my birthday!” Our team couldn't help but smile.
Outside of another collection site on Sunday a man generously dropped off several bags of food. After chatting with the man for a few minutes, our team learned why this was so important to our donor. He had relied on a local pantry when he was struggling a couple of years ago, and this was the first time he was able to give back. He told our team that he no longer needs the help, but the kindness of those who served him stays with him every day. “It feels good to be on the other side" he told our team. "I hope this helps.”
·Volunteering is more fun when you’re with the ones you love. That was easy to see on Sunday with so many of our staff members joined by their family!
- Two of CUMAC’s regular thrift shop customers heard that our staff was short on help last weekend so they stopped by for an afternoon of food packing with their favorite CUMAC employee. Teresa, our thrift shop manager, was all smiles!
- Over 200 volunteers joined us on Sunday to collect, sort and pack thousands of pounds of food for our neighbors in need.
- Dozens of kids came out to volunteer, full of energy and enthusiasm for fighting hunger. It was fun for all of us to watch! At one of our collection sites, one family was so inspired by one of our young volunteers — and their passion — that they donated an entire shopping cart full of food!
- The food collected during the drive will be shared with the 17 other pantries that worked alongside the CUMAC team for the big day. CUMAC and these partner pantries are collectively serving over 15,000 people in need every month. That takes TONS of food so every donation makes a difference.
Sunday was truly a day to remember. Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support! Scroll down for other ways you can help CUMAC fight hunger this fall. Have a favorite story from the drive? Share it with us in the comments section or on social media.