Volunteers from the OURChurch congregation in University Place used $9,000 in CARES grant funds from the City of University Place to feed 150 families (representing about 750 people) in need this Thanksgiving.
Working with Safeway to purchase the meal items, approximately 80 volunteers from the church packaged and delivered turkeys, stuffing, rolls and much more to families who were identified by counselors at U.P.’s four primary schools as being at risk this holiday season. Safeway added a free pie to every order as well.
“Some of these families never thought they’d be in the place they are in now,” said Melanie Grassi-Wood, executive pastor of OURChurch. She delivered a meal to one multi-generational family whose grandmother was in active treatment for cancer, which made going to the grocery store impossible. “They said thank you, but thank you isn’t enough because of what this means to us.”
Grassi-Wood said feeding families at Thanksgiving was a natural extension of the congregation’s food pantry, which they opened just as the pandemic was ramping up. “We have people visit us every day in need of help and we also have people dropping off food every day,” she said. “We are honored to help our community. We love this city. And we are so grateful for the City’s partnership with us to help make this happen.”