Unity Helps Out at Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank

Back row (left to right): Helen Daley, Jane Gallagher, Dennis Hubert; front row (left to right): Amy MacLaughlin, Richard Castro, Jill Ponce, Kay Davis, Maria Blanding, Jennifer Francisco, Jody Schmoll; not pictured: Kate King Turner (photo by Kate King Turner)

Kate King Turner

Nine members of the Unity Church of Sun Lakes descended on the warehouse of Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank to assist the coordinator of the Meals to Grow program. The volunteers helped to fill weekend backpacks of food for school-age children. From uncrating the items and placing them in accessible bins, to filling plastic sacks with non-perishable food items, the work was a joy for the small but energetic group. And important work it is. Most people aren’t aware that one in six kids in Arizona doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. These are kids in our own Chandler Unified School District: homeless students, couch surfers, and kids from families who simply don’t have enough money to feed everyone every day. It is Matthew’s Crossing’s mission to help alleviate that problem. One thousand to 1,200 bags are filled per week to help make sure that kids have some nourishment, even on days they are not in school and receiving a lunch. The nonprofit works to provide food to preschool through college-age students throughout Maricopa County. They provide food closets, weekend backpacks, summer school snack packs, grab and go food packs for patients’ family members at various cancer centers for Amanda Hope (a nonprofit that helps families of children suffering from cancer), and much more. They even put together Teacher Appreciation gift bags in November, each filled with several donated items.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” said Jill Ponce, a Unity Church member. “I’m so glad I did it,” commented Maria Blanding, president of the church’s board of directors. “This was putting love into action,” said Minister Jeanne MacLaughlin when she heard the comments from the volunteers.

Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank encourages support in three different ways: donating non-perishable foods, physically volunteering on-site at their warehouse (Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), and donating funds to help them purchase items not given to them by food donors. Unity Church does all three, having supported Matthew’s Crossing with tithes, food donations, and volunteering. Volunteers are also needed for the Emergency Food Box Distribution program, Monday through Friday. To volunteer, call Jennifer, the Meals to Grow coordinator, at 480-857-2296. To learn how you can support Matthew’s Crossing, visit their website, matthewscrossing.org.

Unity Church of Sun Lakes meets for Sunday services at 10 a.m. in the Arts & Crafts Room in Sun Lakes Country Club located at 25601 S. Sun Lakes Blvd. It is a positive, practical, and progressive approach to Spiritual growth rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the power of affirmative prayer and positive thinking. Unity Church of Sun Lakes honors the universal truths of all religions and helps people discover and live their spiritual potential and purpose. Everyone is welcome. To learn more about Unity of Sun Lakes, visit www.unityofsunlakes.org.