Monday, September 25, 2023

Community Donates Over 7,500 Pounds of Food to Sleigh Hunger

(Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Sleigh Hunger: Christmas in July Food Drive held July 20 at the Habitat ReStore – Williamsburg was a rousing success, with over 7,500 pounds of food donated to local food banks.

Williamsburg House of Mercy and Grove Christian Outreach Center partnered with Habitat for Humanity to host the emergency food drive with the goal of replenishing the dwindling pantries of both organizations due to the increased demand for food for those in need.

“House of Mercy and the Outreach Center are able to say “yes, we can help” because our community said the same, and there is no greater gift, at Christmas or any time,” Katie Patrick, Executive Director of Grove Christian Outreach Center said. “Collectively, we say thank you to the Greater Williamsburg community for responding during a time of need, yet again! We are all stronger together.”

All of the food was collected, weighed in, and sorted by the nearly fifty volunteers that came out for various shifts throughout the day from various nonprofits and local businesses, including Chesapeake Bank, James City County Police Department, and Custom Vinyl Products.

Community partners that contributed to the first annual Sleigh Hunger event included Colonial Sports, Column 15, 2nd Street Bistro, Consociate Media, Southern Pancake and Waffle House, Bellissimo Pizza, and Rocco’s Smokehouse.  

The 7,500 pounds of food, which equates to approximately 6,250 meals, is to be distributed between both Williamsburg House of Mercy and Grove Christian Outreach Center, with families all across Greater Williamsburg benefitting from the community’s generosity.

While many of the donors that visited were local community residents, several local businesses contributed large food donations they had been collecting leading up to the event, including Budget Blinds, Abbitt Realty, Junior League of Hampton Roads, and The Arc of Greater Williamsburg.

“The success of the event could be measured in many ways, and the volume of food collected is definitely one of the valuable measurements,” Patrick said. “However, there is no tool that can accurately quantify the amount of love that was poured into this community when these nonprofits came together in order to respond to a rising need for food assistance by families that are facing extremely challenging times.”

Those who missed the food drive but still desire to help can find information on how at both the Williamsburg House of Mercy website and Grove Christian Outreach Center website.

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