Milk Box Challenge nets nearly 5,000 lbs. of food

The community rose to the Milk Box Challenge for CareNet with nearly 5,000 pounds of food collected. Among the organizations collecting were Angel Medical Center, Iotla Valley Elementary School, Burningtown-Iotla Fire Department, St. John’s Church, Cartoogechaye Church of God and Franklin Church Of God, along with many others, individuals and families. Plans are to make this an annual event.

The following was submitted by Franklin resident Kathy Peek.

I would like to share a little  about a recent experience. I know a lot of people won’t understand what I’m about to say, but this has been very real to me. 

Since  hearing about CareNet losing the TEFAP food source because of a complaint about an offer of prayer with clients, I had been very troubled. In my prayer time, I was praying for CareNet, that God would send help to make up for this loss of food.  The thought came to me, why don’t YOU do something to help CareNet?  I said, me?! I don’t have a lot of money; I can’t do anything but pray God will send them help. Immediately, the scripture Mark 14:8  “She hath done what she could…” came to my mind. 

I kept thinking about that scripture and feeling this nudging to just “do what you can.” I wrestled within myself with this for quite a while. When I went to church the next week the first scripture the pastor read was, “She hath done what she could…” I felt like that was confirmation that I needed to do what I could; so now my thinking changed to, well, maybe I could do something, but what? 

I started thinking about it and got to thinking,  maybe a food drive, but I didn’t really know how to go about this. After some prayerful thinking the Milk Box Challenge Food Drive idea began to form. Even though I was very nervous and felt very insufficient, I called up CareNet and offered to do a food drive. They liked the idea and accepted the offer.  

Now I’m thinking: Why did you do that? You don’t know how to do this. But the thought just kept coming, have faith, just walk it out. I started trying to promote the food drive by contacting and inviting churches, businesses, schools, family and friends to participate. My daughter and granddaughter made flyers and my aunt helped put the flyers out. My sister made an event page. We posted on Facebook. We put it in The Macon County News, the Press, on the radio, contacted WLOS. We tried to get the word out every way we could think of. A lot of prayer went into this project! 

We had the Milk Box Challenge Food Drive for CareNet the entire month of October. Angel Medical collected 1,117 lbs., Iotla Valley Elementary School collected 720 lbs., Burningtown-Iotla Fire Dept. collected 127 lbs., St. John’s Church collected 95 lbs., Cartoogechaye Church of God and Franklin Church of God both collected large loads but it wasn’t weighed. Many others, individuals, and families donated. Bi-Lo, Big Lots, Ingles (three locations) allowed us to place collection boxes in their stores (41 boxes collected) and Bi-Lo allowed us to have “Stuff the Truck” day in their parking lot. As of right now, we have collected 4,752 lbs. of food drive items in this Milk Box Challenge. There are a few left to turn in items, but we hope to have a total weight collected next week. 

I am so thankful for everyone that participated in this food drive. We couldn’t have done it without you! It truly has been a blessing to be a part of this. 

We have decided this will be an annual event and we hope to have more participants and some fun competition between participants next year. I don’t know why God chose me to do this, but so glad He did in spite of me and my reluctance. I encourage everyone to ask themselves, what can I do to make a difference in someone’s life? I can guarantee you it will be as big a blessing to you as it is to them. A big thanks to everyone that helped in any way with this project!  Last but certainly not least, thank you to God for making this event successful, and for sending people to donate. Together, we made a difference.