Approximately 1,500 families were supplied with meals of canned and boxed food for two weeks, thanks to a partnership between Action Ministries-Rome and Trinity United Methodist Church. The groups worked together to purchase the items from the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
“Everyone’s been really nice,” said Timothy Clarke, executive director for Action Ministries-Rome. “We’ve had people that, once they get their food, they come back and help other people carry their food. It’s a good atmosphere.”
Underneath a massive red-and-blue big-top tent, kids scrambled around several different arts and crafts tables. Some children chose to have their hair spray-painted various colors as others excitedly created paintings and then hung them out to dry and show off to bystanders.
Barbara Bruner brought her son and three other children to the event and watched as they created animals out of clay. Bruner, who moved to Rome three months ago from Hungary, said she was impressed with the city’s focus on community and found it welcoming.
“It’s hard to take four kids somewhere to enjoy themselves for free,” said Bruner. “This is really good for the kids. They can play and try a lot of arts.”
Community involvement from volunteers and local college students made the event possible. Berry College freshmen aided in the packing of the food, and cheerleaders from Shorter University helped carry the bags for attendees at the event.
With a crew of volunteers from Trinity United Methodist, Neely Raper helped shuffle hot dogs into buns and kept a culinary construction line going. Raper was one of almost 200 volunteers from the church who raised money to support the event.
“It’s incredible,” said Raper. “To see everybody’s effort to celebrate God’s effort in the community, it’s a wonderful thing to see.”