The employees at the Palatka, Florida Social Security Administration donated over 100lbs of food for The 2009 Summer Food Drive. Last week I dropped off the donations to “The Pantry” a local food bank housed in The Heart of Putnam Service Center. They serve the county's community and help the needy residents in Putnam County with food, utilities, prescriptions, clothing, etc.
Manager Ron Hornback and volunteer employees greeted me with smiles and open arms. He stated they were very grateful for all donations and very appreciative. I was given a brief tour of the pantry which was a very humbling and enlightening experience. I will never forget the looks on the faces of people in the pantry getting items such as food and over the counter medications. Things that many of us take for granted made their day. You can literally see their stories in their eyes. Some were very sad, some were distraught, and some were even in tears as they picked up the items they needed from the shelves. But many of them were just happy to be receiving items they could not afford. That’s why I feel it’s very important to donate items to your local food banks on a continuous basis.
As I walked back to my car I heard someone call out my name, I turned around and it was one of my claimant’s and his daughter. I had taken a TERI (terminal) claim on his wife who recently passed away. He walked up to me a said “I just want to thank you for being so nice to me and my wife. I would never forget your kindness and how you helped her get disability before she passed away.” He then dropped his head as if he was embarrassed about being at the pantry with his daughter. He said “I can’t believe that I have to come here to feed my daughter.” I said to him, “you’re just doing what any parent would do feeding your child by any means necessary, that’s what food banks are for and that’s why people donate. They realize that this could happen to anyone including themselves.”
I know many of us can still remember our parents or grandparents saying “people are starving in Africa” every time you threw away food. Well guess what…they’re starving right hear in America; 1 out of every 6 kids goes hungry everyday in America. If you’ve ever hesitated about donating items to a food bank I challenge you to visit one. I have personally pledged to buy one bag of grocery a month and take it to a food bank; they really need the donations.
I would like to personally thank “GOD” for being a blessing in all our lives so that we can be a blessing for others in need. The Atlanta Region for sponsoring this food drive, the NFL ADO, my manager and co workers for allowing me to represent the Palatka office. Your donations were greatly received and the manager of “The Pantry” stated he will be adding the Palatka Social Security Administration office to “The Pantry’s” wall of frame for our donations. Much love to all!