By Sammy Pierre, Multimedia Reporter
If you’re anything like me, then finding the next deal at the grocery store always comes in handy. Life as a college student isn’t always the easiest and having a place to get food can go a long way. Feed the Boro (FTB) hopes to be able to bridge that gap in the community.
Originally starting up upwards of 25 years ago, the nonprofit organization has been able to see a lot of growth over the years.
It first started as a way to provide meals for people in the community that didn’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving. During their first year open they served a total of 170 meals to those in need. The year before the pandemic saw an increase with them serving over 5,000 meals.
However, once the pandemic hit FTB had to reconsider their strategy. Rather than serving meals just for Thanksgiving, they have moved to providing meals throughout the whole year. FTB manages to come out one Saturday per month to meet the needs of the community.
“I think it’s much better as far as the food drop because you get to help out more people than when we were doing the hot meal because that was set up for just one day, but this been going on every month,” committee member George Moore said, “One food drop per month and on that basis you help a lot more people that need it.”
The pandemic shone a light on how much people within Statesboro needed a service like this. Although the line doesn’t get moving until 8 a.m., people can be found waiting in line for hours on end. “The second car in line got here at 10 p.m. last night,” volunteer and board member Wendy Forgacs said.
So how does it all work? With their numbers steadily on the rise, FTB has a current goal of being able to serve 1,000 families of four, two meals a day for a week. In order to meet those numbers, there has to be some sort of cap so there can be enough for everyone.
“It’s capped at about 450 so that people don’t get here and we have nothing left,” Forgacs said. To make it fair for everyone, the service is first-come first-served and has no requirements for people to meet. All they need is for people to show up in their cars, join the line when it’s time and have their trunks open and ready to go.
The line officially starts at 8 A.M. and ends when supplies are out. However, it’s advised that you show up a little early in order to make the cut.
“If you need food, this is the place for you,” Forgacs said. “Or even if you don’t need food but still want to be involved, we always need people volunteering.”
Volunteers are useful because they help to break down boxes and keep the area clean, direct the flow of traffic in the lot, and load up the cars with their food. Volunteering also is a great way to give back to the community and feel connected to its members.
FTB is a great resource for those in need of meals and a sense of belonging.