By Tia Lynn Ivey
The weekly Grocery Giveaway, orchestrated by the Morgan County Ministers Union, is changing locations this week. On Saturday, Aug. 1, boxes of good will be handed out from the old Morgan County Middle School, located on Pearl Street in Madison, from 11 a.m. to noon.
More than $30,000 has been spent thus far on groceries for needy families struggling through the coronavirus pandemic. The Conrads Foundation donated a $10,000 matching grant, which the Ministers Union has surpassed with donations from the community.
“We exceeded the matching grant,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman, one of the ministers involved the effort. “It’s a huge success and each week we give out around 150 boxes of food.”
Back in April, The Morgan County Ministers Union partnered with other local churches and volunteers to distribute food boxes to help families, since so many were struggling financially from shutdowns and lay-offs associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The group continued the giveaway every Saturday, as the effort gained steam and more community partners donated and volunteered to keep it going.
The group had been giving out food from Morgan County High School, but now will distribute groceries for families from the Old Middle School on Pearl Street in Madison every Saturday at 11 a.m.
The drive-thru pick-up system allows recipients and volunteers to reduce contact and socially distance to stay safe while meeting a critical need in the community.
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman and Reverend Robert Terrell, both members of the Ministers Union, are thrilled with the generous grant donation and urge the community to step up and donate to Reverend Terrell, senior pastor of Union Springs Baptist Church in Rutledge, believes this program is especially needed this summer since the school system discontinued its summer lunch program.
“The school lunch program will not be happening this summer,” said Terrell. “So this grant is very timely and will help us pick up that slack for the summer. With the lunch program not being there, kids and their families will need our program even more than before.”
“The most important reason people are still struggling financially because of the ongoing pandemic,” said Perriman. “Especially now with the summer lunch program not in effect and people are not working full-time and a lot are not working at all and having the extra burden of the kids being home, it’s kind of an extra burden on them right now. So this is very much needed.”
On average, the grocery giveaway has been distributing about 150 boxes of groceries per week.
To donate, mail a check addressed to the Morgan County Ministers Union, located at 1901 Doster Road, Madison, GA 30563. People can also donate directly at the Grocery Giveaway, which happens every Saturday at the old Morgan County Middle School on Pearl Street in Madison from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.