By Taliyah Chalmers
Last month West 10 Media teamed up with the Church of Christ at Ridgegrove for a food drive to benefit North Shelby County.
With food from the Mid-South Food Bank, the drive fed nearly 300 families from Frayser, Northaven, Lucy, Woodstock, Raleigh and Millington. Nearly two dozen volunteers and the Memphis Police Department tried to beat the heat on the morning of July 24 to get boxes of food organized for those in need.
The driving force behind the food drive at Ridgegrove was church member and retired MPD Captain Claudette Boyd.
“Since this global pandemic has hit, people are struggling more than ever,” Boyd said. “We reached out to find out how we can help. The people at the Food Bank said right now these food drives are a great way to assist families that just need a nutritious meal.”
Boyd and her husband, Ridgegrove Minister Gerald Boyd spread the word about the food drive to members and other community leaders. The Millington Star editor and Ridgegrove Youth Minister Thomas Sellers Jr. got the information out via social media and the paper.
With a scheduled start time of 10 a.m., cars were lined up down Hawkins Mills hours ahead of time. Volunteers made the discussion to began the donations about an hour earlier.
“It’s a typical hot July day but we’re out here for a worthy cause,” Sellers said. “Today I saw blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians out here. Young and old came to get these boxes of food. Some came to help a friend ashamed of reaching out while others wanted to say thank you in person for the blessing.
“This is what ministry is all about,” he added. “You have to get on the front line of a crisis and put work into making a bad situation better.”
Boxes featured tuna, fresh fruit, cereal, milk, peanut butter and much more. Those drivers picking up food boxes followed the rules of staying in their vehicles. Forms were handed out by Boyd, other volunteers and even a couple of MPD officers.
“This was our first time doing something like this,” Boyd said. “It was harder than we realized, but it was so worth it. We have to do it again. And next time we’ll know how to do it even better.”