Food relief program still feeling the need a year later

NORFOLK - You may have seen the cars lined up along West Benjamin Avenue and Riverside Blvd.

Just who are they waiting for?

A small group of volunteers delivering care packages for families in need.

Every week, they’ve been handing out some dairy and produce to whoever pulls up, and they’ve been doing it for well over a year.

It’s a charity made possible with help from the Food Bank of Omaha, spearheaded by the Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership.

They started with just handing out 150 boxes. And as time went on, that number grew to about 448 on average.

“We have people waiting at about a quarter to 8, and we start at 11,” said Diane Schultz, a Family Service Advocate for the NNCAP, “So the demand is high, the need is high, and if they can’t use it they bring it to their neighbor.”

While the first Tuesday of May was mild, the crew had to deal with extreme weather in order to keep families fed.

“We’ve had 20 below, that was a cold one, and rain, that was a cold one. So this is a great day," Schultz said.

While it’s not always easy work, the people pulling up for some healthy food can’t thank them enough for their effort.

“I thank them every time I’m here,” said Jamie Lyle. “It helps out. Life without it is probably not as healthy.”

The crew has been going strong with the weekly program,

Schultz says the handouts may wrap up around the end of June. But if financial support allows, she hopes to keep it going for as long as the need is there.

“Just helping someone and knowing that they’re grateful for it is a blessing," she said.