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Claymont churches top 100,000 pounds of food given away since start of coronavirus pandemic

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Dozens of volunteers helped load food into cars. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

CLAYMONT — A partnership that has evolved between Holy Rosary Church and Spring Church reached a milestone on June 19. The Claymont churches distributed more than 19,000 pounds of food to the needy of the community, pushing the total amount given away since mid-April past the 100,000-pound mark.

Spring Church, led by Pastors Meagan and Terrance Farrare, began distributing food in early April as the coronavirus pandemic began to force people out of their jobs. As the amount increased, they needed space to accommodate the traffic. They partnered with Holy Rosary, and the parking lot has been buzzing with activity every other Friday for the last eight weeks.

Pastor Meagan Farrare center, in white shirt) of Spring Church addresses volunteers before cars arrive at Holy Rosary on June 19. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

Cars were lined up more than a mile on Philadelphia Pike before the gates opened on Friday. For almost two hours, dozens of masked volunteers placed boxes of fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products into trunks and back seats. Meagan Farrare said she loves to see the community come together for a good cause.

“It looks like a lot of work, but at the end of the day they’re so hyped because you see your hand print inside the community. It’s an amazing feeling,” she said.

The work begins long before the first car pulls into the lot. Volunteers, many from the Christopher Council of the Knights of Columbus, are on hand to set up tents, erect tables and fill the boxes.

The combined efforts of Spring Church and Holy Rosary has made the effort that much more effective and wide-reaching, she continued.

“Together, we’re better,” she said. “Our goal was to feed the entire community as best we can. This week, we reached over 2,000 families since COVID. We just want to keep going. Things are opening back up, but people are having to catch up from being out of work for so long.”

Being in the Holy Rosary parking lot has increased the visibility of the distribution to area businesses, and several have donated to the cause. Meagan Farrare lets them know that “everything goes directly into the food. We just keep feeding.”

After reaching the 100,000-pound mark, the Farrares held a ceremony to thank volunteers, complete with water ice and hot dogs. It was there that Father John Gayton, the pastor of Holy Rosary, announced that the parish had been awarded a grant of $20,000 in the latest round of funding from the Delaware Community Foundation. The money will be used to help with the partnership with Spring Church, with parish outreach, and for the local Knights of Columbus council. The Knights, he said, have been making hundreds of lunches each week for the Emmanuel Dining Room.

‘That will help us keep it going, plus we help the homeless in Wilmington. The Knights do like 300 lunches a week,” he said.

The churches will not do a giveaway on July 3 because of the holiday weekend. They will be back in the parking lot on July 17.

Photos by Mike Lang.