Around the Miami Valley
11:08 am
Fri February 20, 2009

Oklahoma Charity Brings Relief to Wilmington

A line of people stretched over a city block in Wilmington yesterday. Hiding their faces to protect them from the cold, they waited for food and supplies. A Christian charity group called "Feed the Children" brought in eleven semi trucks to deliver goods in response to the worsening economy in the town.

Kermit Whitt stood in line with his family, wearing a heavy coat to keep warm. He says he needs to be here because he lost his job at DHL over the summer and still hasn't found work.

"There aren't jobs around here. It's the way the economy is. There isn't anything that's going to happen. I mean, everyone is promising they're going to do something. They ain't doing nothing," says Whitt.

Mallien Allen has tears streaming down her face, but she says she feels blessed.

"These aren't tears of sadness, they're tears of joy. I've been praising the Lord all morning and praying for everybody, everybody in this line," says Allen.

Over 300 volunteers worked to ensure that people were able to get their boxes. Volunteers like Roseanne Walker, who moved among them, offering support and the occasional prayer.

"Yeah, it's cold. We're trying to encourage families to take their children to their car and kind of hang in line, because whoever needs a box, we're trying to
provide a box," says Walker.

Everyone who qualified received a voucher worth a box of groceries that can feed a family of four for a week. Feed the Children Founder Larry Jones says that in addition to food, they also passed out personal care items.

"Shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, toothpaste, tooth brush...So we try to put things in that the ordinary American uses on a daily basis," says Jones.

Wilmington Mayor David Raizk says he considers this an investment in the community that's been struggling.

"These are folks who never asked for anything before. They've always been hard working folks, they've paid their bills and they haven't need assistance from anyone. They've been the ones doing the assisting. Now the tables have turned and they need some help," says Raizk.

1,400 vouchers were given to families in need and Feed the Children says it will
continue providing food to a Wilmington charity for distribution.