Outreach Center Provides Fresh Produce To Those In Need

  • 6/1/2019 5:19:06 PM
  • Ingrid Schmidt
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH- The Matthew 25 Outreach Center holds free produce distribution events to help feed those in need in Mansfield.

Volunteers including President and Founder Jeff Wright, help to hand out food at the event as well as making home deliveries.

"So what we do is once a month we set up shop like we have here and we bring in somewhere around 30-40 thousand pounds of food and we help feed the hungry all throughout the area," Wright said.

Lots of community members show up to these regular free produce events.

"We'll have here at the school probably about 1,500 people walk up to the school today to receive food for their families and then we'll have trucks like this one that will actually go out and do home deliveries.  We've got four crews doing home deliveries today," Wright said.

The program is more than just an average food bank.  It allows local families in need to feed their families fresh, healthy foods.

"When we look at the fresh, healthy products like this, fruits and vegetables, obviously healthier for you, help improve their diet and lifestyles overall," Wright said.  "It's also very expensive at the grocery store so most folks can't afford it. So by bringing it in and focusing on healthy foods and injecting some fun foods in as well, we actually can help improve their lifestyle and improve their diet."

This dedicated team of volunteers wants to make sure that the Mansfield community feels supported and heard.  The program helps to bring fresh produce to people who may not otherwise be able to afford it. All of the produce is provided by the Cleveland Food Bank.

"I know we have about 75 volunteers that help us.  Everyone is a volunteer, all of us, including myself," Wright said.  "So we all come out and serve and get a chance to meet people and build relationships."

The community is very thankful for the program, and the volunteers appreciate being able to help.  Jack Butler is a member of the Board for Matthew 25 Outreach Center. He said that he is touched by how much the community appreciates the program.

"It's amazing the thankfulness we get and the stories we get," Butler said.

The Outreach Center holds this free produce distribution event the first Saturday of each month at the Mansfield Senior High School Parking lot  They are also at Luray Lanes in Ashland on the third Saturday of the month. The program is also looking to expand to Crawford County.

"It's by the grace of God that it's all happening," Wright said.  "God said we would have the poor and the hungry to feed and so that's our calling."


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