With the help of the Save A Lot grocery store, the Matthew 25 Mission program narrowly avoided a crisis last week.
The food ministry at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church had recently placed an order with the Oklahoma City-based Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, said the Rev. John Norvell. The food bank was set to deliver supplies to St. Luke’s on Wednesday, June 19, so the ministry could serve clients the next day.
The ministry distributes food to needy families in the Ada area once a month.
A group of junior high students from three Tulsa-area churches was in town on June 19 to help with the ministry. Other volunteers were on hand to unload the truck from Oklahoma City, but the truck never arrived.
Norvell said he called the food bank to find out what had happened, but the nonprofit had no record of the order.
“We were expecting probably 250 families or so the next morning, so I didn’t really know what to do,” Norvell said Tuesday.
He said one of the program volunteers suggested asking Save A Lot for help, and the store manager came to the rescue. The store filled the program’s order for beans and other staples and delivered the food to St. Luke’s later that day.
Matthew 25 normally serves about 250 families a month, but 279 families showed up for the June delivery, Norvell said. He said the program could not have served those families without assistance from Save A Lot and the Tulsa volunteers.
“It just shows the willingness for a local grocery store to help us out in a real time of need,” he said.
Save A Lot’s assistant manager, Tracy Oxley, said volunteers asked the store for help at about 10 a.m. the morning of June 19. Store workers spent about four hours loading items onto pallets, then delivered four pallets laden with food to St. Luke’s that afternoon.
Oxley said that Save A Lot employees take pride in their customer service, and they were happy to answer Matthew 25’s call for assistance.
“I was just glad we were able to help them,” he said.