The Past 3 Months From a Staff Perspective …

By Barbara Sayles *

Things have been intense. Emotional, powerful, impactful, unforgettable … virtually everything has been beyond what we’re used to experiencing.

cars lined up to receive a box of food in Orlando, FloridaThese past 3 months have consistently been filled with visions of cars lined up for hours for food. Every event we contribute to, we see lines of cars waiting for hours for a bag of food. We see policemen who were not called ahead of time jumping in to help with traffic control and offering to help with future events.

We see desperation on the faces of parents picking up food for their families, and the return of a smile for a smile. We see text messages with the words “thank you for all you are doing” and “oh my gosh, you all are angels, thank you so much for these veggies!!! They are amazing!”

Most of all, we see hope in that bag (or box) of veggies. It’s a hope that this won’t last forever, that one day soon, people will have jobs again and be able to go to the store again to buy their own groceries.

This has been a bitter-sweet 3 months, the busiest ever in the history of my 14 years in the Florida Regional Office, but in other ways, some of the best things have come from this.

Volunteers moving food from pallets to carsHundreds of volunteers stepping up every single week to glean with us and helping deliver the gleaned produce.

Welbro Construction helping non-stop with their pickup trucks moving food from the field to the agency, and to the direct distributions going on around the state. UNITE volunteers helping not only distribute the food we bring but also helping us pick it up and driving our box trucks for us.

Agencies sending out volunteers to pick food and bring it back to their own distributions.

Farmers calling us to offer the farm to family boxes that are such a great staple of fresh fruits / veggies at our distribution events.

welbro construction helps transport foodIndividual donors stepping up and giving for the first time, or giving more.

Foundations giving more, or giving unsolicited. Emergency grants were given.

As I look back in wonder at how we did what we did, I realize it was because of all these amazing people and businesses and agencies and donors!

Together we were able to reach so many people in need, and I thank God for them and for this experience that has changed many of us forever.

* Barbara Sayles is the Director of the SoSA Florida Regional Gleaning Network



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In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

Photos, videos, and other images in which I, or a registered family member, appear that are taken during gleanings may be used by the Society of St. Andrew for news coverage, newsletters, reports, displays, and for other print, broadcast, web, or electronic news or promotional purposes.

I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

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