CityServe co-founders, Dave Donaldson and Wendell Vinson and Reed Slattery, World Vision joined Ivanka Trump, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Pastor Paula White, White House Center for Faith & Opportunity Initiatives on Tuesday, June 16th, at the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in Pittsburgh to distribute food boxes to the neighboring community. Trump and Secretary Perdue were able to see first-hand how the CityServe/World Vision distribution model empowers and equips a local church to serve its community and feed hungry families through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
First daughter and Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump expressed appreciation to CityServe and World Vision for spearheading the Faith-Based Community for Farmers to Families to deliver the food boxes through the “Last Mile of Need” where the most vulnerable are often unreached by government agencies and other nonprofits.
During a panel discussion, Dave Donaldson said, “If Ivanka and Pastor Paula White ask you to do something the word “no” is no longer in your dictionary.” Reed expressed appreciation for Secretary Perdue’s leadership along with Ivanka and Pastor Paula. Dave ended his remarks by saying, “Connecting our great farmers to suppliers that are producing the boxes for charities and great churches like this one (Pentecostal Temple, Pittsburgh) is an unstoppable army of compassion.”
Ivanka also said to Bishop Mann through a Facebook post, “Visiting your church today allowed me to listen and learn from faith & community leaders how together we can bring about healing and holistic revitalization to underserved communities across the nation. Black churches are a great force for justice, love, equality and human dignity in our nation. I am grateful for the candid discussion and opportunity to learn.”
CityServe, in partnership with World Vision USA, is facilitating the Faith-Based Community for Farmers to Families which also includes Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing, Citygate Network, The Dream Center Network, Teen Challenge, Mercy Chefs, God’s Pit Crew, 180 Disaster Relief and many other faith-based organizations and churches across the nation.
“USDA suppliers have committed over 1.7 million food boxes a month to the Faith-Based Community. Food box commitments continue to increase weekly as the HUB & POD distribution model proves most effective in reaching those who are most vulnerable to food insecurity,” said Wendell Vinson.
USDA-approved suppliers deliver food boxes to warehouse distribution centers known as HUBs who receive, store, and distribute food boxes to church PODs (point of distribution). CityServe PODs hand out food boxes to the most vulnerable in their neighborhoods.
About USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
On April 17, 2020, the USDA announced the program as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program developed to help farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. On May 8, 2020, the USDA approved $1.2 billion in contracts to suppliers for meat, produce, and dairy packaging and distribution to food banks, nonprofit and faith-based organizations.
Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and FAQs, is available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food.
CityServe is a collaborative network of churches and community leaders connected to help those in need to live better lives. CityServe empowers the local church to fulfill its purpose to overcome brokenness and transform lives by resourcing them with tangible goods and capacity building. CityServe brings the church to the table to address community challenges by offering long-lasting relationships that lead to transformation and has been designated a “Community of Faith and Opportunity” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information about CityServe and its initiatives, please visit https://cityserve.us or on social platforms @cityservehq.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.