Peggy and Ed Smith have turned a box truck into a major component in the local effort to combat hunger
We’ve all heard that “God works in mysterious ways,” right? The other day someone said to me, “I don’t believe that! I think He works very clearly, but people often mess it up.”
In the case of Sharing the Harvest Food Ministry, the signs were pretty clear what needed to be done.
Ten months ago, a pastor of a local church was asked by a member of his congregation if he would like a 30-foot box truck as a gift. Sure, we’ll take it, was the answer from the pastor, though the underlying thought was what in Heaven’s name are we going to do with a 30-foot box truck?
Meanwhile, prior to the truck’s delivery, the pastor had lunch with the director of Diakonia, a local charity, to discuss what the church could do to assist in the shelter’s efforts. The director mentioned that they had been blessed with many donations of food and that her dream was to one day have a mobile food pantry to deliver the food to areas in need. (You can almost see the light bulb glowing, can’t you?) She added that often the
people most in need couldn’t travel to the distribution locations.
This was the birth of Sharing the Harvest, a collaborative effort of local churches, businesses and volunteers.
In the 10 short months of its existence, Sharing the Harvest has fed over 21,000 people and been named by the Maryland Food Bank as the top provider of free food in Worcester County and second largest on the entire Eastern Shore.
During my time with Ed and Peggy Smith, the directors of Sharing the Harvest, a touching story was shared about a past distribution. A local television reporter came to cover the event and interviewed one of the recipients. The woman shared that she learned of a Sharing the Harvest distribution three weeks earlier but was unable to find transporation to the offering.
It was with palpable gratitude she added: “They came to me!” Ed and Peggy, reluctantly accepting the spotlight as the leaders of the project, shared that they have over 50 volunteers who make it all come together. “It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish in such a short time and with so little resources,” the couple said. “We are given almost all of what we distribute. God just always provides.”
Just one week after this interview, Sharing the Harvest held a distribution at Atlantic General Hospital in conjunction with a flu-shot clinic. There will be two distributions in November — one on the 16th at Stevenson United Methodist Church in Berlin, and another in Pocomoke on a day to be annouced. In early December, meanwhile, they will hold a distribution event in Snow Hill, followed by a Dec. 23 distribution at the Atlantic United Methodist Church in Ocean City — exactly one year from the date of their inaugural offering.
“We’re just happy to do what we can,” shared the Smiths. “We don’t ask any questions; people don’t have to qualify for food. If they say they need it, we give it to them. We even have an emergency pantry for people in times of urgent need.”
It’s amazing what can be done when a good idea, good stewardship and good people
Who cares? More people than we know and hear about, that’s for sure.
SHARING THE HARVEST
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