More than 300 families get the gift of food at Archer church from mobile pantry

When 15,000 pounds of food roll in to local food pantries, High Springs Mobile Pantry Director Anna James and dozens of volunteers sprang into action and delivered it to families in need.

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On Thursday, more than 300 families drove to the First Baptist Church of Archer, popped open their trunks and left with a week’s worth of groceries that included meats, fruits, vegetables and yogurt. Some of that food was donated by the Walt Disney Company, who distributed the food because its parks have been shut down. Other donors included local grocery stores and chains such as WalMart and Publix.

James, who is also a board member of the Gainesville-based Bread Of The Mighty Food Bank, said she, “Got a call from God in my heart,” to help people and a decade ago she launched the mobile pantry in High Springs which serves food every Wednesday to anyone who needs it, no questions asked.

The event in Archer lasted two hours from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

Rev. Michael Fox of First Baptist Church of Archer was more than willing to help, James said. He rounded up volunteers and City of Archer employees to direct traffic and place heavy boxes of food into trunks while following CDC guidelines recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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James said the drive thru process was a way to distribute a large amount of food without coming into contact with recipients.

“It took all day,” James said about how the volunteers received the donations, separated them into food groups and created well-rounded selections of food for a lot of families who are struggling do to business and school closures.

“What we are trying to do is keep them safe and fed throughout the entire pandemic,” James said and added that she will continue to arrange for food giveaways in rural areas.

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“This was our first event in Archer,” James said. “And it was really successful because it flowed so smoothly.”

Photos by Denise Badger, Special to Mainstreet Daily News

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