Why do we do summers and how does summer distribution work?
We as a ministry saw the need to continue providing food through the summer as a result of listening and learning the needs of the recipients and getting feedback from school staff. A little listening, leads to a lot more caring and caring leads to asking questions and digging deeper into seeking the true needs of those in food insecure circumstances.
Year after year of providing food has taught CCM to dig, adapt, to always stretch and strive to do the most we can to ensure that a child does not go hungry. Every year we ask the counselors at each school to send a summer application home that includes dates and location options to the students that receive the weekend and break bags during the school year. Upon completing the applications, the counselors forward the information to us with the parent’s approval. We divide the forms based off of the location of choice and have the distribution team leaders of each location contact the families at their location. This enables us to send reminders out. The distribution teams load up their food boxes either the evening before or the day of distribution and drive out to their site. The families meet each team out there and receive. This is an extremely humbling time filled with lots of gratitude and lots of encouragement and can also lead to directing the families to additional resources.
For those that distribute, they have the blessing of meeting the families face to face, and have the opportunity to truly listen and connect. The distribution teams also have the blessing of having their faith in the ministry renewed and their determination to continue caring for others deepen. Year after year when we distribute, we remember why we do what we do and we are grateful that we get the honor of serving those who need a little help. We are reminded that God’s truest calling is to help those in need and to offer His hope.
Each site has testimonies to share. One testimony was a mother showing up in her work uniform, gratefully receive her food, and even followed up by showing us before and after pictures of her refrigerator. That fridge went from completely bare to stocked up. Another testimony is that of a mother of two children who found herself in Berkeley County, going through divorce to escape an unhealthy relationship, living in a shelter and started receiving KPP. Through the summer distribution she met a KPP board member who was heading up that particular distribution site. She was given not only food but words of encouragement, hope and an invite to CCM Community Day in the Park. She and her children attended the event all day plus came to the private KPP swim party after the event. While there, they were able to swim, play, and build relationships with CCM. At the end of the night the mother explained with happy tears that this day was the best day they had had in well over a year.
One by one the recipients accept their food while shyly smiling with tears in their eyes stating that they would not know what they would have done without CCM! Many grandparents, many working families, many persons with very limited income, simply in an unexpected season of difficulty not only receive food, but receive kindness, care, and hope. These families nor their children are ever treated as numbers, but treated as we would like to be treated if our situation was reversed. We are reminded to never grow weary in doing good and we are blessed beyond measure as our hearts grow for our community.