The Ark Church’s eighth annual Grocery Giveaway was held the morning of Nov. 23 at the Church, located at 450 Humble Tank Road in Conroe.
“Our first car arrived on campus at eight p.m. last night, so the first cars lined up at eight p.m. We opened the gates at three a.m., and started getting all these cars on the property,” Ark Church Reach Pastor Anthony Rios said.
Rios said it is the eighth year for the current format of the Grocery Giveaway, but Grocery Giveaway goes back to when the church first opened.
“We used to serve about 20,000 individuals just for Thanksgiving, so our idea was take those resources and see if we can’t get people enough food to extend that beyond Thanksgiving,” Rios said. We’re going to serve today over 260,000 meals here in our community, which includes a Thanksgiving meal as well as enough food to sustain them for a couple of weeks.”
Rios said about 1400 cars showed up for the Grocery Giveaway.
Rios added that the Grocery Giveaway is a partnership between The Ark Church, Kroger’s, Montgomery County Food Bank, HEB and Walmart.
“This year is unique because we had so many wonderful people who wanted to jump in and bless our community in a significant way. It’s the reason we could get it to 1400 cars, so we’re so grateful and thankful for their generosity,” said Rios.
Over 800 volunteers participated in the Grocery Giveaway this year.
Here are some of the volunteers:
“It’s a wonderful blessing for our church to be able to bless our community in a significant way,” Rios said.
Cindy Bell and her daughter, Addison Burleson, volunteered at the Grocery Giveaway.
“It’s just a great opportunity to bless people and know that they’re going to have food. Some of these cars come in at three o’clock in the morning, and sit and wait all night long just to get in line,” Bell said.
Addison Burleson said she likes helping people.
“I just like giving people things because I know that sometimes you need food and stuff like that, because sometimes my family needs it, and it’s kind of nice to give people stuff to help them out,” Burleson said.
Connie Williams volunteered at the Giveaway.
“This is our third or fourth year, and we always do the line. We love the line to be able to greet everybody as they go by,” Williams said. It’s so nice to see everybody’s faces that are so thankful for this, and we get to be a part of that.”
Allison Jaggers brought her kids out to the Giveaway to volunteer. Jaggers said she and her family have struggled at times.
“I’ve been through where we didn’t have enough food, we were fighting just to pay bills and get food on the table,” Jaggers said. Now that we’re more stable it feels really good to know I know what they feel like because they don’t have anything, and maybe they can’t ask. They don’t have to ask, they can just show up and we’ll give them food, and we’ll love on them and pray with them.”