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The Village distributes more than 300 boxes of supplies

LaFAYETTE — More than 300 boxes of food were distributed in LaFayette Saturday morning. Partnering in the event were Valley Community Outreach (a.k.a. The Village) and the City of LaFayette. A parking lot on the north side of LaFayette High was the distribution point. Vehicles were lined up in hopes of getting one of those big boxes of free food long before the planned 9 a.m. CST start.

“We started about 20 minutes early,” said The Village member Clint Gilder. “There were a lot of people waiting in line by then, and we thought we’d go ahead and serve them.”

Mayor Kenneth Vines was present and was pleased to see the big turnout and how smoothly everything went.

“This is a good thing for LaFayette, and we appreciate what The Village is doing for the community today,” he said. “Everyone in line is getting a box of food including milk, fruit and fresh vegetables. I’m especially pleased that much of this food will be going to our elderly residents. It was good to see them here today.”

The Village has taken part in food distributions in Chambers County’s three major cities — Valley, Lanett and LaFayette — and is now looking at distributing care packages to local residents who have been personally impacted by COVID-19.

“We will be doing it on March 6,” The Village member Bridgette Heard-Wilson told The Valley Times-News. “Each box will have household necessities such as Lysol and other cleaning products, paper towels and hand sanitizer. We will be taking the boxes to the homes of people who are in need. We are now taking the names and addresses of those we can help. We are asking people to tell us of anyone they know who needs help. Just contact any member of The Village.”

The Village is made up of adults who grew up in the Valley area and always considered it their home even though they may have made a living elsewhere. Some now live in Atlanta, Birmingham or Columbus but frequently return and are eager to give back to the place that will always be special to them.

“We meet at least once a month,” Heard-Wilson said. “We stay in constant communication with each other and are always looking for ways to help people, especially those who have struggled with this pandemic, been in the hospital or lost loved ones.”

We have had our share of cold and rainy weather so far this year, but Saturday’s weather was absolutely beautiful. Approximately 15 volunteers were there to give out the boxes. All of them were distributed before noon.

Members of The Village thanked Vines and city council members for their assistance. The mayor was then presented a framed commendation thanking him for his assistance and support of what The Village wanted to do.

“We thank you for going the extra mile to ensure that this community food drive was a success,” it reads. “We appreciate your welcoming us and allowing us to be of help to the community. God bless and God speed.”

When all the boxes were given out, volunteers were treated to a hot dog lunch in the LaFayette High gym.