15:44 PM

Jackson EMC Employees Distribute 28,800 Pounds of Food to Local Families

Jackson EMC partnered with local civic clubs to distribute 28,800 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to families in Lawrenceville as part of the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

“We're always looking for ways to serve our community,” said Craig Roberts, director of engineering and operations for Jackson EMC’s Gwinnett district. Roberts also serves as youth services chairperson for the Lawrenceville Rotary Club and organized the event.

Roberts knew his fellow employees had a history of volunteer service, putting the cooperative principle of “Concern for Community” into practice.

“I sent an email about this volunteer opportunity to our employees, and within minutes, we had more than a dozen people sign-up,” said Roberts, who arranged for fork-lifts, tents, traffic cones and directional signage to be used for the food distribution, as well as coordinated volunteers.

Randy Dellinger, district manager for Jackson EMC’s Gwinnett district, said, “I’m very proud of the commitment to community our employees demonstrate. We even had one employee who was literally hours away from retirement.”

After 35 years of service, Charles Boyd was retiring, but still decided to volunteer. “Just because I’m retiring from Jackson EMC, doesn’t mean I’m retiring from my community,” Boyd said.

Ten Jackson EMC employees distributed 1,440 boxes that contained apples, oranges, nectarines, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and zucchini.

“The Farmers to Families Food Box program is a great way to help farmers who’ve been unable to sell their produce during the pandemic, as well as families in need,” said Cyndi Garrison, who serves with Roberts in the Rotary Club.

The Farmers to Families Food Box program purchases fruits and vegetables, which are then packaged into family-sized boxes, from local farmers. Community nonprofit organizations, food banks, and faith-based organizations submit requests for pallets of the boxes to distribute to local families.

Three local food cooperatives, as well as church food ministries and homeless shelters, picked up food boxes for distribution in their pantries, including the Quinn House and McKendree United Methodist Church.

“The fork-lift Jackson EMC provided enabled us to load the pallets onto the box trucks from the food banks,” Garrison said.