Sweet Potatoes Distributed in Chicago by Zoroastrian Center

Loading Potatoes

SoSA crop drops are held in parking lots of schools, convention centers, municipalities, and a variety of faith groups. Volunteers come from colleges, civic organizations, scouts, and congregations. Last September, a truckload of potatoes arrived in the parking lot of the Zoroastrian Center of Chicago in nearby Burr Ridge, Illinois. This faith group took on its first crop drop experience in a very big way – and they’re eager to do it again. The truck that arrived in their lot carried 840 fifty-pound bags of potatoes — 42,000 pounds in all.

Photos by Roshan Rivetna

About 40 members of the congregation arrived early and were greeted by a hearty buffet breakfast already prepared by other members to get them ready for the morning’s hard work.

Typical of a SoSA drop, the potatoes were all on their way to feeding agencies all over the region by noon. Volunteer Rohinton Rivetna said, “Everything went well … the very young and the very old all helping out, some doing heavy lifting, some organizing, some feeding and quenching thirst – as it was hot, and some just cheering on. Everyone felt very good, and the recipients were ever so grateful for us doing this.”

Rivetna also said that it was nice to meet all the good folks from the food pantries who picked up the potatoes in their vans and trucks. The recipients included Illinois Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes, West Suburban Community Pantry, Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, Peoples Resource, Elmhurst Yorkfield Food Pantry, Interfaith Food Pantry, and Food Pantry of Darien. These new SoSA volunteers discovered that a single congregation can make great strides in feeding hungry people in one morning – while having a great time doing lots of hard work. Zoroastrians believe in “good thoughts, good words, and good deeds” — and a SoSA potato drop is a great way for anyone to participate in all three.


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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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