Kiwanis gathers items for food ministry

Mar. 11, 2013 @ 11:48 PM

The Sevierville Kiwanis Club set up shop outside Food City on Saturday, collecting cans and other food items to help the Sevier County Food Ministries replenish supplies.

"We've teamed up with Food City today and we're handing out brochures that list some of the basic things all families need, hoping to build up their supplies a little," said Kiwanis Club member Leslie Atchley.

Atchley, along with Kiwanis President Terrye McAnally, greeted customers walking into the grocery store. Emily-Grace McCarter and Tyler Jeffers of the Sevier County High School Key Club also helped pass out the yellow brochures displaying foods they were looking for.

"We're also taking cash donations, because with cash they can buy more food per dollar than what we can, but the visualization of people seeing what they need, and that there is a need, is important," Atchley said.

Atchley said the food ministry's shelves are bare right now. One of the Kiwanis members also volunteers at the food ministry, and Atchley said he's been keeping the club informed on the status of the ministry's shelves.

In just a couple hours at Food City, the club had collected about 14 crates of food. They had boxes of macaroni and cheese, cans of soup, fruits and vegetables, as well as jars of peanut butter.

"There's no goal, just whatever we can get," Atchley said. "Every can helps."

The tactic was to hand out the brochure to every person walking into the store, then wait. No pleading, heckling or harassing.

"Somebody may bring us one can and the next person may bring us three bags full," Atchley said. "It just depends on where their heart and conscious is at the moment."

After 5 p.m., the club gathered all the items they collected since 8 a.m. and drove them over to the food ministry.