James Thomas, front, and Neal Tam, right, carry boxes of food to waiting cars during last Friday’s food distribution.

Last Friday, the Thomson Family Y, in partnership with Golden Harvest Food Bank, distributed 100 boxes of free food to local residents.

“We were able to serve our community due to our facility being closed,” said James Thomas, executive director for the Thomson Family Y and vice president for the Greater Augusta YMCA. “We were able to give out 100 food boxes to our community. We had staff, board members, and volunteers show up to help with this and we actually served all 100 that came through the line.”

Cars began to line up in the back parking lot of the Thomson Family Y more than an hour ahead of the designated time for the food distribution. First one Thomson Police officer, and later an additional officer and the chief, helped direct arriving cars into the line. As cars arrived on Hospital Drive they were directed into a gravel overflow parking area.

One box was given away per vehicle

“All boxes were pre-packed by Golden Harvest before they got here,” said Thomas.

Staff and volunteers worked to gather information for Golden Harvest via a series of questions asked about income, number of residents under 18, and number of residents over 60.  It helps them accumulate data and make sure every household that needed to get the free box of food could, Thomas explained.

“Thank y’all. We’re praying for y’all,” Beverly Guy, part of the staff, told one family after they said they had 12 people living in their home.

She was equally encouraging with the people in every vehicle she approached.

“We’re praying for you during this time. It’s going to be alright,” she told another family.

Thomas said this was the first food box distribution by the Thomson Family Y.

“The people were very appreciative to have the opportunity to get the food and actually to get out of their house for a few minutes too,” said Amy Simmons, a Thomson Family Y board member who volunteered. “We serve the community and we’re happy to do that.”

Hank Wilson, pastor of Thomson Presbyterian Church and also a Thomson Family Y board member, also volunteered and loaded many of the boxes into cars.

“It was kind of surprising to see the need that we had,” said Wilson. “It was a good crew here, and everybody helped out and we had good volunteers.”

“As a Y, we’re just blessed to have this opportunity to serve our community during this time,” Thomas said.

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