CCEA gets an unexpected food donation
Will help with several feeding ministries
— A chance encounter at an after-Christmas dinner party resulted in a huge donation of food for the needy served by the Chesapeake City Ecumenical Association.
“I made a connection with a lady at a party who works for Campbell’s (Soup Company),” said Eileen Viars, CCEA president, referring to the iconic New Jersey-based
company with such brands as Prego, Pepperidge Farm, Swanson and V-8.
Viars said during that brief meeting she explained the various feeding programs that CCEA operates including the Bag of Hope for the elderly, Generation Station — the after school program for middle and high school students — and clients of CCEA, which could benefit from a donation from companies such as Campbell’s.
That was in December. On Monday morning, her phone rang with a word that eight pallets of food was awaiting pickup.
Kay Redding, director of the Bag of Hope program, welcomed the generous gift.
“This will be a big help definitely,” she said. “We haven’t been able to order from the Maryland Food Bank.”
Last fall, the food bank told nonprofit feeding programs, including CCEA, that it was raising the delivery cost from $50 to as much as $300 to recover from a budget deficit.
After hearing of the delivery, Viars had to make more phone calls. She had an army of volunteers on standby, who quickly arrived at Station 12 to unload the truck and assign the food to various locations.
“It was shipped out of Ohio,” Viars explained. “We didn’t know when it was coming.”
On those pallets, she found cases of spaghetti sauce, juice, macaroni and cheese dinners, soup, Goldfish snack crackers and Spaghetti-Os.
Viars said her benevolent friend hoped to be able to re- peat the donation.
“She said she would do it as often as she can, a minimum of once a year,” Viars said.
An army of volunteers helps unload a donation from Campbell’s Soup Company.