New River Community Church members arrived Dec. 13 at Clover Area Assistance Center with a 26-foot box truck filled with food donations.
“I never expected such a huge donation,” said CAAC Executive Director Karen van Vierssen. “New River brought us everything on our wish list and brought it in huge quantities.”
Kevin Layne, student pastor at New River Church in Lake Wylie, had gathered the list of needs, especially for items clients can’t purchase with SNAP, for the Full Choice Pantry and put the word out in the congregation.
It took more than one hour of non-stop unloading to empty the truck, and another hour to separate out breakable items. In all, New River collected two tons of food, paper products and toiletries.
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“This is amazing. In the over four years since I have been with the agency, this is the first time CAAC has ever had a pallet of paper products stacked almost to the ceiling in the warehouse,” van Vierssen said.
The final weight of donations was 4,040 pounds, and an additional 20 pounds came in from a parishioner Dec. 14.
“Our pastors really want to see us give within our own community,” Layne said. “I guess everyone heard what items were needed and just responded generously.”
CAAC terminated relations with Second Harvest Food Bank earlier this year, and started its “Keep It Local! Feed the Need In OUR Community!” campaign. Van Vierssen said the center has experienced a significant increase in community support to continue serving people in need within the Clover School District boundaries.