It’s an annual tradition in Longview, Texas. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, volunteers flood the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex with food, food, and more food. The volunteers come from all walks of life. Schools, churches, businesses, retirees, everyone comes together to help sort through the thousands of pounds of food items. Then, on Tuesday before Thanksgiving, pre-approved families arrive to receive their Thanksgiving food gift.
It sounds so simple. Someone gives food. Someone gets food. Everyone gives thanks.
In a way, it really is that simple. But in reality, it takes a lot of planning and coordinating to acquire and distribute enough food for 1,000 needy families. Not to mention the pre-approval process to make sure that the food actually goes to people who need it. After thirty years of practice though, the process has become poetry in motion. Well, maybe the food sorting day isn’t quite poetry, perhaps choreographed chaos. But at the end of the day, the food is beautifully sorted and ready for the families by the next day.
Making it all work are volunteers. The Longview Thanksgiving Food Drive has no paid staff. We coordinate with existing local nonprofits to assist with the application process. The rest of the work is done by trusty volunteers that faithfully hold food drives and gather food from their neighbors. It really is a community process.
If you’ve never participated in the Food Drive, we invite you to get involved. If not this year, then maybe next year, or the year after that. We don’t think the need is going away anytime soon, so we plan to stick around for a while.
Come get involved and give thanks with us. If you would like to volunteer or donate food, meet us at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex, 100 Grand Blvd., on the Monday before Thanksgiving.