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updated 9:14 AM, Oct 22, 2020 America/Chicago

IT CAN BE DONE - Point Blank, churches join forces for monthly food drive

Members of Point Blank Community Church wait to serve patrons.Members of Point Blank Community Church wait to serve patrons.

By Jason Chlapek
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POINT BLANK — Pat Chandler gets emotional when she thinks about her late husband’s vision.

Clyde Chandler, former mayor of Point Blank, passed away in July, but his vision lives on. That vision is a monthly food drive that takes place at the Point Blank Civic Center.

“Covenant International Church of Cleveland brings the food, and Point Blank Community Church put the food drive on at the Point Blank Civic Center,” Chandler said. “We’ve been doing this for six years. My husband worked for over a year to get the food truck here. (Some people) didn’t believe that there were enough people here that would come and it was part of the supplemental nutrition program.”

About a decade ago, Chandler said there was a mobile food bank that came to Point Blank 2-3 times a year. But when circumstances changed, someone had to step up.

“We had another man that had a 501c3 at that time and he started coming here and it would be done 2-3 times a year,” Chandler said. “But his health got real bad, he retired and that was going to be the end of it unless we did something about it. I went to our elder board at the church, they agreed to become the 501c3 and we’ve been doing it ever since.”

Despite Covid-19 affecting the way things are traditionally done, the Point Blank Food Drive hasn’t Benn affected at all. What was once a line-up in front of the building has now become a stay-in-your-car ordeal.

“We try to do it every month,” Chandler said. “We started with everyone standing in line out here, and they would stand in line for hours and hours for the food. When the pandemic hit, we started staying in vehicles. Since Covid, we have to be very careful. The people who are registering must have their masks on and remain in their vehicles. They are told to open the trunks of their cars or bed doors of their pickups so we can put the food in. We usually have people line up at 4:30 in the morning. I would tell them that the truck wasn’t going to be there until 10 a.m., but they told me that this is good fellowship and the time that they get together and visit with friends. It’s become a community event.”

Chandler is thankful for the volunteers who help her with the food bank. She also thanked a local business in Point Blank for its assistance.

“Our church is just so wonderful in providing the volunteers. Everything is pre-boxed. I also want to give a ‘Hallelujah’ for Fleming’s Meat Processing because almost every month they provide us with hundreds of pounds of free meat. They’ve been doing this for months and are super in wanting to help the people of our community.”

While the food bank is in Point Blank, the city isn’t the only place that is served by it.

“We’ve extended it to Onalaska after the tornado and we also have people who come from Livingston, Coldspring, Cleveland and Huntsville,” Chandler said. “The word gets around.”

In April, the food bank received bad news when the Houston Food Bank’s SNAP program decided it would no longer bring food because of Covid-19. However, Chandler found a replacement.

“We did not cancel during Covid, but the Houston Food Bank’s SNAP program canceled on us,” she said. “We went to Judy Eaton (Emergency Management Coordinator) and she was the one that got us in contact with Covenant International. They said they will provide us with food and have been doing it ever since. We will stick with them.”

The most recent food bank took place Sept. 24. The next one will take place Oct. 22.

 

By Jason Chlapek

By Jason Chlapek
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

POINT BLANK — Pat Chandler gets emotional when she thinks about her late husband’s vision.

Clyde Chandler, former mayor of Point Blank, passed away in July, but his vision lives on. That vision is a monthly food drive that takes place at the Point Blank Civic Center.

“Covenant International Church of Cleveland brings the food, and Point Blank Community Church put the food drive on at the Point Blank Civic Center,” Chandler said. “We’ve been doing this for six years. My husband worked for over a year to get the food truck here. (Some people) didn’t believe that there were enough people here that would come and it was part of the supplemental nutrition program.”

About a decade ago, Chandler said there was a mobile food bank that came to Point Blank 2-3 times a year. But when circumstances changed, someone had to step up.

“We had another man that had a 501c3 at that time and he started coming here and it would be done 2-3 times a year,” Chandler said. “But his health got real bad, he retired and that was going to be the end of it unless we did something about it. I went to our elder board at the church, they agreed to become the 501c3 and we’ve been doing it ever since.”

Despite Covid-19 affecting the way things are traditionally done, the Point Blank Food Drive hasn’t Benn affected at all. What was once a line-up in front of the building has now become a stay-in-your-car ordeal.

“We try to do it every month,” Chandler said. “We started with everyone standing in line out here, and they would stand in line for hours and hours for the food. When the pandemic hit, we started staying in vehicles. Since Covid, we have to be very careful. The people who are registering must have their masks on and remain in their vehicles. They are told to open the trunks of their cars or bed doors of their pickups so we can put the food in. We usually have people line up at 4:30 in the morning. I would tell them that the truck wasn’t going to be there until 10 a.m., but they told me that this is good fellowship and the time that they get together and visit with friends. It’s become a community event.”

Chandler is thankful for the volunteers who help her with the food bank. She also thanked a local business in Point Blank for its assistance.

“Our church is just so wonderful in providing the volunteers. Everything is pre-boxed. I also want to give a ‘Hallelujah’ for Fleming’s Meat Processing because almost every month they provide us with hundreds of pounds of free meat. They’ve been doing this for months and are super in wanting to help the people of our community.”

While the food bank is in Point Blank, the city isn’t the only place that is served by it.

“We’ve extended it to Onalaska after the tornado and we also have people who come from Livingston, Coldspring, Cleveland and Huntsville,” Chandler said. “The word gets around.”

In April, the food bank received bad news when the Houston Food Bank’s SNAP program decided it would no longer bring food because of Covid-19. However, Chandler found a replacement.

“We did not cancel during Covid, but the Houston Food Bank’s SNAP program canceled on us,” she said. “We went to Judy Eaton (Emergency Management Coordinator) and she was the one that got us in contact with Covenant International. They said they will provide us with food and have been doing it ever since. We will stick with them.”

The most recent food bank took place Sept. 24. The next one will take place Oct. 22.