Farmers To Families Food Distribution
Late last week, an area resident learned of an opportunity to have a semi-trailer full of food and milk delivered to Cherokee County through the Farmers to Families Program. She reached out to several county agency heads, who then contacted a couple of community partners including COOP and the K-State Extension Council. Although there was a quick turnaround before delivery and we had never coordinated a food drive before, we did not want to pass up the opportunity to provide groceries to families in our community.
Our team wanted to make sure multiple parts of the county had distribution locations so folks wouldn't have to drive very far to take advantage of the program.
Again, having not conducted an event like this in the past, we weren't sure if the semi would be on time or get stuck in traffic between Kansas City and Cherokee County, how long it would take to unload the semi once it arrived, or how many residents would be interested in the program.
Of great concern was the length of time the meat, produce and milk would go without refrigeration.
Again, despite these and other challenges, we did not want to turn down the opportunity to help those within our community, so it was agreed to accept the offer from Farmers to Families.
Although the intention was to start distribution at 10:00 a.m., the truck arrived on time, the unloading and reloading process went very smoothly thanks to some great community partners and volunteers, and most trucks got to their distribution points at about 9:30 a.m.
Upon arriving, lines of vehicles had already formed so the decision was made, since the program was first come first serve, rather than everyone continue to sit and wait another half hour, to go ahead and start the distribution, which also helped alleviate any serious traffic related issues.
To say the demand was significant is an understatement and most locations ran out of groceries very quickly. It is certainly understandable that those who arrived in hopes of participating left frustrated upon learning the supply had already ran out.
Cherokee County is blessed to have had the opportunity to provide groceries to 900 families across our community this morning. However, that also emphasizes a significant need and will hopefully serve to help encourage others to support local food banks and blessing boxes when they have a chance.
Again, we understand the frustration from those who arrived only to find the groceries had already been distributed. We certainly wish there was an unlimited supply available.
However, we are very thankful for the opportunity to have partnered with Farmers to Families and appreciative of all those who helped in the distribution.
If given the chance to have a similar event in the future, we will modify the logistics of our plans and gladly seize the opportunity to serve our community in this new way.
Stay safe and God Bless,
Sheriff David Groves