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For 2020, Feed the Boro food drop to replace cooked hot meal
COVID forces change to annual charity tradition
feed boro
In this 2019 file photo, volunteers Marie Cushner, right, and Ryan Smith keep the meals moving out the door as Feed the Boro served up over 4,300 Thanksgiving meals out of Statesboro High School. Due to COVID concerns, this year's charity event has been replaced with a food drop.

Instead of the traditional cooked holiday meals, Feed the Boro is doing things differently this year due to COVID-19 precautions.

In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, Bi-Lo, Bulloch County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and other supporters, Feed the Boro will lead a massive food drop Saturday that will feed 1,000 families of four for the holiday week.

The usual cooked meal and the chance to dine and fellowship with others is canceled due to concerns about coronavirus safety, said FTB Chairman and organizer Don Poe, who is in his sixth year heading up the event.

“I am saddened that we can’t have it as usual this year, but I am happy to know the community is stepping up to help these families for the holiday.”

Families who cannot afford their own holiday meal will be able to come from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 21, to Statesboro  High School to pick up the food. They should “make sure their trunks are empty” to accommodate the food, Poe said.

The Feed the Boro event has been “a Thanksgiving Day tradition” for 27 years, said DeWayne Grice, director of Bulloch VOAD.

“2019 was a record-setting  year,” with “hundreds of volunteered working for days” to prepare, cook, plate and deliver over 5,000 meals to Bulloch, Candler and Evans  counties, he said. This year, due to COVID issues the Feed the Boro food drop will serve only Bulloch, Grice said. Feed the Boro realizes this year, food insecurity is even worse than in the past. This is the reason families will be given enough food to last a week for families of four. There will be two truckloads of food, he said. No financial requirements are needed to get food, but this emergency food drop is designed for those in need, he said.

Enter the drop area from Fleming Drive, in the back of the school.

You will enter the road that runs between the SHS football stadium and the school building, then proceed into the parking area where the distribution will be held.

The gates on Blue Devil Drive and the entrance off Lee Hill Boulevard will be closed.  The only way to enter will be off Fleming Drive. 

“The trunk or rear of your vehicle must be cleaned  out so volunteers will be following strict COVID protocols in making this a contactless delivery,: he said.  “When citizens reach the distribution area, they will need to have their trunk open and cleaned out. SUV’s will need the rear to be accessible and cleaned out also.”  

Volunteers will not be allowed to touch nor move items around in your vehicle, he said. If it is not cleaned out, they will only place what is possible in the space is available.

“Cars will slowly roll through the nine food stations without stopping,” Grice said. “Volunteers and local donations make food drop possible.”

Poe agreed.

“There is no way we could continue this incredible community event without the generosity of our community in the form of monetary contributions and unselfishly volunteering their time," he said.

“Each year, our community comes together to help others in our community who are struggling.  We were concerned that this year we would be impacted by a drop in contributions.  We have seen the opposite.  Even our presenting sponsor BI-LO increased their commitment this year."

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached  at 912-489-9414.

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