During the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of dollars in produce and dairy were going to waste, but now, that food will be distributed through food banks, non-profit organizations, and churches thanks to President Donald Trump and White House advisor Ivanka Trump.
Sand Springs’ own Church That Matters has been chosen as a hub for distribution, and two large refrigerated trucks are currently sitting in their parking lot full of milk and produce.
“Church That Matters has been asked to be a regional hub for distribution of produce and dairy boxes as part of the USDA Farmers to Family Food Box Program White House Initiative,” said CTM Pastor Rusty Gunn. “President Trump and Ivanka Trump put together this program and are subsidizing Go Fresh in our region to make it happen.”
On Wednesday, May 20, CTM handed out boxes of produce that included broccoli, squash, potatoes, and much more along with boxes of milk. On Thursday, May 21, the church loaded up a trailer with produce and milk and handed out the food at Sandy Park, located just off of Charles Page Boulevard.
Executive Pastor of Local Missions, Michael Wilson, led a team that included church members, Erin Knight and Taylor Merritt. Sandy Park’s Ashley Davenport made sure every resident had food.
“We have just learned over and over again that when we open our hand in generosity, God opens His and pours resources through ours. When the pandemic began, we used our very limited resources to bless and provide for our community and God has now brought incredible amounts of resources our way to continue giving to others,” Gunn said.
Church That Matters has teamed up with SouthSide Coneys, Minuteman Pizza, and Cheezie’s Pizza to provide free hot meals during the pandemic. The church started in March and has been going ever since. Now, CTM has the resources to provide food that will last more than just one meal.
On Saturday, May 16, CTM gave out 40,000 pounds of free meat to area residents and had a quarantine cook-off for fun.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, food distributors and restaurants saw a decline in business after the pandemic forced the closure of restaurants, schools, and events. The food was being thrown in the trash because no one was ordering or buying it. Now, food is being distributed to people in need.
“We are receiving a semi load of produce and a semi load of dairy every other day for the next several weeks,” Gunn said.