As the Boxwood Soccer Club program grew, many volunteers noticed a recurring theme: At the end of the month, our families were running out of food. While Columbus has several food banks, their hours did not meet the needs of working families, and without transportation getting to food banks proved difficult.
Everyone agreed that this problem needed a solution, but no one felt that solution was giving away food. So instead, Lisa Herring found a program that was providing food and connecting families to resources, and, most importantly, at its root, it served as a guide in helping people build community. That program was Food Security for America, and in 2019 The Boxwood Friends and Neighbors Network was formed.
Food Security for America’s vision is An America where everyone has the certainty of a healthy meal and the opportunity to connect and grow with their neighbors.
This fit in perfectly with the direction the ministry was heading. Food Security for America realized that many Americans wonder if they will have enough food to meet their family’s needs. Additionally, they identified that the uncertainty of unmet needs causes stress, social isolation, poor school performance and can place families on the brink of homelessness.
The difference between a food bank and a food security group is that the members are volunteers. Food Security Groups run it themselves! The group has a program administrator who picks up the food. The members sort and distribute the food, run their meetings, and learn valuable life and leadership skills in the process. In addition, they pay a nominal membership fee – no handouts!
Food Security for America has created communities across America called Food Security Groups where struggling families can have their need for nutritious food met, learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles, and receive the support of friends. These relationships give the members friends to celebrate the joys of life and have a support system to lean on in tough times.