After the group left with all the food we had to serve their 30 meals, and a volunteer came to deliver the additional boxes left, I immediately started calling the grocery stores. I was looking to get donated items for Thanksgiving meals the next day. Publix was the first one, “Hi, Sir, I run a food pantry and I am looking for donated items to feed 30 more people tomorrow, and I’m wondering if you would like to be part of this miracle?”
“Sure, let me check what we will have. I think we can get you some bakery items and if we don’t sell the three turkey meals we have left, you can have them. Please come around 9:30/9:45pm tonight.”
I thank him profusely and hang up. Three meals is 10% of 30. I can figure the rest out. “God, please don’t let anyone buy them.” I say under my breath. Now, how will I get 27 more?
I call the other grocery stores in the area, and nothing pans out. A short possibility comes up with The Fresh Market, but I have to call at 1 pm Thanksgiving Day, and the pantry opens at 2pm. Even though it’s a tight turnaround, I agree anyway.
Praise music is coming from my computer, while I am stretching. It is now 7 at night, and my usual bedtime is 8 pm. I spend some time praying, singing, and stretching while I wait for 9:30.9:45 pm. Then, I get a nudge. The Holy Spirit nudged me to go sooner, so I did. I arrive an hour early, and speak with the manager. He says, “You’re early, why don’t you shop some.”
I noticed his energy right away. I was tired and concerned about how many meals were left.
Cody, the manager, was peppy, giving out pies to customers and wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. “How are you so energetic at 10 pm at night?” I ask him. I was more stunned. My bedtime is 8pm, so I was really exhausted.
We started talking about volunteering, and he says that he is wanting his teams to go out into the community again. I get a bit excited, and we talk about volunteer opportunities with Hope To Thrive. It is almost time, and he tells me to head to the dock with my vehicle.
Two other guys and Cody meet me back at the dock. “You are driving this vehicle?”
I say, “Yes.” I knew it looked small, but it could pack a lot of boxes.
There are three guys and they look each other in the eye in disbelief. I couldn’t wait to blow their minds with how much my red Honda Fit could hold when the seats are down.
“How are you going to carry this food?” And he points behind him.
I looked at what he was waving at and my mouth dropped. I had seen the food, but I thought it was inventory, not what they were putting aside for me to take to give out.
It was carts and more carts of turkeys, fresh vegetables, prepared sides, and everything fully cooked, including the turkey.
I stumbled, “He told me some bakery items and maybe three turkey dinners….” I felt embarrassed, but again, knowing that I had to respond rapidly, I quickly added, “I can call someone with a truck.”
“How far are you going?” He says to me,
“Butterfield Drive. That is where the pantry is located. About 14 minutes away.” I quickly added.
“I got a truck. I need to finish here, but I will drive the items to the site.” The manager of Publix says.
I’m baffled. I quickly say, “Ok, let’s load up my car and then I will get ready to store all this food, because I will need to create space.”
There were some uncooked turkeys and I went to my neighbor, who caters, and asked about him cooking turkeys for the next day. He says that I can do it, and he will turn on the grill. I told him that once the manager comes, I will let him know how many I would be cooking.
The manager comes with even more food than I saw. It was absolutely amazing. Everything was fully cooked, already prepared, and we had more than enough to serve the 30 meals for the 9 households the next day. We also had raw turkeys, but I didn’t need them cooked by my neighbor. We had more than enough to serve our extra 30 meals I needed.
The next day, The Fresh Market calls me and says that he had extra and would love to offer some food to our families. We went to pick up the food, and it was amazing as well. We get hams, fully cooked, and our families want that as well, we get extra gravy, and more turkeys that are fully cooked. It was awesome.
We ended up serving 12 households, and feeding over 70 people and their families and friends.
“God, thank you for the Thanksgiving Miracle on Butterfield Drive.” I pray.