Social Media (Net)Works for Local Food Pantries
A request on Facebook sparked the generosity of our two towns.
It took a few shares of a link on Facebook, and an article on Patch to get people motivated. Last Thursday, it was reported that the shelves of the food pantry at Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) were bare. This sparked an internet response which went viral!! (At least viral in Maplewood and South Orange).
After posting it on my Facebook page, and seeing others do the same, I went through my pantry and on Saturday, my ten-year-old son Drew and I dropped off two bags of food to OLS. When we arrived, there were many people waiting on line to receive a bag of food. I think that this made the need seem more "real" for Drew, as he got to see some of the people who were actually receiving the donations. We saw into the pantry and were shocked to see how empty the shelves really were.
Maplewood Karate, (where students bring food donations to class), sent out a link on Facebook asking to spread the word and asked if someone would pick up the three boxes of food he had at the studio. That link led to more and more shares of the request and Drew and I headed over there immediately after seeing the long line of people hoping to get back in time before it closed.
In the meantime, the comments on Facebook grew longer and kept spreading with more and more people saying they were on their way with donations.
Sunday morning, Drew and I went to morning Mass. We walked past the food pantry door and were overwhlemed! Boxes and bags piled high were lined up in the hallway. The door was open and a volunteer was loading the room with the donations. He could not believe the amount of food. I told him about the shares on Patch and Facebook and he admitted how extraordinary the power of the internet could be! He said this week they would be able to feed so many families!
The need is still great, and summer is a tough time for donations so when you are able, please continue to drop off food whenever possible.