Case Study #3 - Feed The Bay
Just before Thanksgiving 2008, 23 churches in Brandon, Florida across multiple denominations came together on a single day, mobilizing 20,000 church members to purchase 270,000 lbs of food at 30 area Sweetbay and Publix grocery stores, then load it onto 18-wheelers, and finally deliver it to 14 area food banks. At a time when food supplies were at an all-time low in the midst of a recession, Feed the Bay provided those agencies enough food to last them for the next 4-6 months!
Role of Meet The Need
An event of this scale requires hundreds of volunteers. Each store and food bank needed teams of people and coordinators to load and unload trucks. Everyone had to be at the right place at the right time. Meet The Need’s job was make that happen. In the end, over 800 volunteers from across those 22 churches and 20,000 members were in place on schedule thanks to Meet The Need’s search engine, reports and reminders. According to Feed the Bay’s organizers, a multi-church event of that size is unprecedented and would not have been possible without Meet The Need. Not only that, but thanks to Meet The Need, the body of Christ was truly unified in that church members from across multiple churches worked side by side at the food banks and grocery stores. Without Meet The Need, each church would have had a sign-up sheet for members to volunteer to work at the nearest grocery store or food bank – in that case, all of the volunteers at each location would have been from the same church.
The event was so successful that planning is underway for an even larger Feed the Bay event in 2009, with an estimated 35 churches representing 30,000 church members participating and 300,000 pounds of food expected to be provided to area food banks.