How Our Community United to Tackle Food Insecurity During a Pandemic We’re in the midst of a crisis! I know that’s not really breaking news to you, but it is true. We’re in a season of uncertainty, not really knowing day-to-day how this pandemic will pan out. But even with the unknowns in our future, Chase Oakers and our local food pantries came together in many different ways to tackle food insecurity during a pandemic. One of the most beautiful attributes of Christ-followers is generosity. And our brothers and sisters who manage, work, and volunteer in our local food pantries are some of the most generous people with their time and resources as they meet people right where they are in the middle of a crisis. The people of Chase Oaks have always been very generous with finances as well as with their time and service. Working with our local food pantries, Chase Oakers joined our community in the fight for hunger. It was a beautiful reminder of what we can accomplish when we come together as one body, as one community. No matter what difficulties we were all facing as a result of COVID-19, we all came together to be here for good and tackle food insecurity in North Texas. How We Came Together to Tackle Food Insecurity During a Pandemic Supported seven local food pantries. Because of the generosity of our community, Chase Oaks Church was able to give a total of $70,000 to seven local food pantries ($10,000 each) to buy the necessary food for the increased number of people entering their buildings due to food insecurity on the rise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These donations allowed the pantries to purchase food from the North Texas Food Bank at 14 cents on the dollar to serve their clients. Combining this financial gift and food donations from grocery stores and families allows the pantry to serve three meals per dollar. That means with the $10,000 gift to each pantry, 30,000 meals will be provided. These financial gifts were more than just about the money and food we provided to our local food pantries; it was about supporting the real heroes that are often overlooked in the middle of this crisis. Our local pantry workers are to be praised, encouraged, and prayed for regularly. They constantly serve people in crisis who need someone to tangibly show them love and respect. Our pantries work diligently to ensure people who are food insecure have what they need to feed themselves and their families. Behind the scenes, they work in a stressful environment as they work hard to try to feed everyone who may walk through their doors. Throughout this pandemic, their emotions are running high, wondering if they are going to have enough to feed the needs. After receiving the financial gift from Chase Oaks, one of our partner pantries’ leader said, “Today has been a really, really, bad day; in ministry, we get tired, overwhelmed, dragged down, beaten down, trying our best to serve others well with limited resources.” Then, as she opened the envelope with the $10,000 check, you could immediately see a reversal of the anxiety and worry of how she would be able to meet the upcoming needs. She immediately had hope for at least the near future. Woodbridge Campus Pastor Todd Baughman replied to the pantry leader, “When we’re struggling, we are not alone. Fellow brothers and sisters, churches, and God are here with us.” Not only did our donations tackle food insecurity during a pandemic, but they also provided hope and an opportunity to minister to someone on the front lines sacrificially serving and ministering to those in need. Came alongside families in need with Here For Good Grocery Gift Cards. Aside from coming around our food pantry partners, we also wanted to come around individuals and families outside of Chase Oaks. We know COVID-19 has caused some major disruptions in our lives, and many are struggling due to job loss and sickness. Therefore, we asked Chase Oakers to provide the names of people (with their permission) in our community that would benefit from a $200 Here For Good Grocery Gift Card. And once again, Chase Oakers delivered! Through the Here For Good Grocery Gift Card initiative, we were able to come alongside 90 families in need and provide $18,000 worth of grocery gift cards. Together, we were able to tackle food insecurity during a pandemic through the small gift of a grocery card—such a simple, but impactful, way to be here for good for our community! Hosted a food collection at Here For Good Sunday. On Sunday, May 24, our Chase Oaks campuses hosted a fun, interactive drive-thru event in their parking lots. There was food, games, and free goodies for adults and kids. But the best part was collecting food for our local food pantries. It has not been easy for our food pantries to keep their shelves stocked during this pandemic. So, we invited a few of our local food pantry partners to bring their trucks to our event to collect the generous donations from our community. Between people who came out to our event (approximately 2,000 people) and volunteers who made it happen (approximately 175 people), we collected enough food to fill a 30-foot truck at our Legacy Campus and En Español Campus, and we collected over 6,000 pounds of food from our Woodbridge Campus, Richardson Campus, and Sloan Creek Campus. The food collected at Here For Good Sunday supported A Christian Food Pantry (Plano, TX), Minnie's Food Pantry (Plano, TX), God's Pantry (Plano, TX), Amazing Grace Food Pantry (Wylie, TX), 5 Loaves (Sachse, TX), Network's food pantry (Richardson, TX), and Allen Community Outreach (Allen, TX). The Here For Good food collection was a huge step in tackling food insecurity in our community. It was amazing to see how Chase Oakers and our community came together once again to meet needs in the middle of a crisis. Thank You for Being Here For Good! To Chase Oakers, our local food pantry workers and leaders, and those in our community who helped us along the way, we could not carry out God’s mission without your faithfulness and generosity. We are thankful for your love for our community and for your generosity during this difficult time. We are so amazed by your willingness to tackle food insecurity during a pandemic. Join the Here For Good movement and make a difference in our community. A great way to start making a difference is to host a neighborhood food collection: Just invite neighbors to drop off food at your door and donate it to your local food pantry. Check out other ideas and opportunities for how you can be here for good today!