WILLS POINT, TX – Because GFA World has supported pastors and missionaries across South Asia for more than 40 years, the organization understands the ugly effect of food scarcity. Over those four decades, GFA World’s field partners have distributed countless foodstuffs and cooked tens of thousands of meals for hungry people—doing it all in the name of Jesus.
GFA World also knows that sharing words of hope for a better tomorrow—whether practical advice or spiritual encouragement—tends to fall on deaf ears when someone has eaten little or nothing for too long.
“If you see a dying man begging on the street, how can you share the Good News with him and not give him something to eat?”
In 2020, many American families, previously unfamiliar with food scarcity, began to experience what food scarcity means. Supermarket shelves began to look like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. Tens of thousands of Americans who were living paycheck-to-paycheck were suddenly unemployed. They had no means of purchasing food even if the shelves had not been bare.
When schools and restaurants closed to ensure social distancing, fresh food supplies were going to waste. Community food banks began begging for assistance. It soon became clear that people were going to need help. That’s when the U.S. Department of Agriculture began its Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
- Farmers sold food previously destined for restaurants and grocery stores to distributors like CityServe.
- Distributors packaged family-sized boxes to warehousing hubs.
- Hubs transported trailer loads of food boxes to designated points of distribution (POD) that included local schools, food banks, FBOs, and NGOs.
- Families picked up the boxed food at a nearby POD.
GFA World Participation Amid the COVID Crisis
GFA World’s headquarters in Wills Point, Texas, was honored to be selected as a POD. It just made sense. An organization absorbed with solving food insecurity halfway around the globe was given the opportunity to prevent it in East Texas.
Over the eight-month period from July 2020 to April 2021, the GFA staff and volunteers from Body of Life, Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy, Chick-fil-A, and others distributed more than 10,000 food boxes, another 10,000 gallons of milk, and more than 10,000 loaves of bread to the hungry citizens of Van Zandt County and neighboring areas.
As the COVID crisis appears to be diminishing, life is beginning to return to whatever is considered normal. Businesses are opening. Bread-winners are back at work. Food is on store shelves and in kitchen pantries. That being the case, the Farmers to Families Food Box Program will draw to a close on May 31, 2021.
The $6-billion-dollar government-funded program delivered nearly 171 million boxes of fresh food to hungry families across the entire country.
GFA World counts it a privilege to have been able to serve the local community how and when help was needed most. Bishop Daniel Punnose summed it up, saying, “It’s a privilege for us to help our neighbors in Texas as an expression of God’s love during this critical time in our nation when many are losing hope because of the pandemic.”
- GFA World Special Report, The Scandal of Starvation in a World of Plenty
- Missions Box News, ‘Farmers to Families’ Provides Food to Families in North Texas
- Missions Box News, Over 12 Million USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes Delivered to Families in the ‘Last Mile of Need’ by Faith-based Community
- Ag Daily, USDA to end the Farmers to Families Food Box Program