Hundreds of cars lined up to drop off thousands of meals.
Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis has been helping feed the families of its student body during this time of crisis, and recent events have left families scrambling to meet basic needs. Principal Amy Nelson found herself in a position where she needed to find a way to help her students' families through this very trying and scary time. With buses shut down and grocery stores closed, many have no access to transportation or food.
"The area has become a food desert for these families, many of whom don’t own a vehicle to drive elsewhere," Nelson told the Washington Post. "We had to do something."
Without many options other than a desire to help, Nelson reached out to staff and friends, asking for donations to create 85 food kits to pass out to the community. The group planned to set up and pass out food from the school parking lot last weekend.
When the morning of May 31 came, Nelson was in for a huge surprise. By 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the school's loading dock was stacked with food, with even more on the way. The donations kept coming and hundreds of people lined up to keep giving until the entire school campus was covered in food bags and piles of cereal boxes, canned goods, loaves of bread, and much more.
Courtesy of Education Minnesota (Facebook)
So much food was donated that businesses in the area volunteered as drop-off sites when the school ran out of room to store it all. It became a true community effort to help those who need it, in a time that's changing daily.
"We started in parking lot and then covered every square inch of grass," Nelson said. "It got so congested, we sent a truck down to a nearby park.
"People waited over an hour to drop food, some started dropping food off on the avenue."
At the end of the day, the drive had passed out at least 30,000 food kits—feeding over 500 families. Excess donations were given to local nonprofits and other city distribution centers to give out to other neighborhoods in need.
Help came from people of all walks of life, all ethnicities and races—a community was brought together in a time of need, showing strength and solidarity.
"People of all backgrounds and races were picking up food and helping each other. And that’s what Minneapolis is. That is who we are. We take care of each other," said school family liaison Mara Bernick. "At Sanford Middle School, we are all about diversity and helping each other. These students see what we are doing. They are the future; they are ones who will effect change."