Local 916 Holds Food Giveaway in Springfield, Ill.
On September 16, Local 916 in Springfield, Ill. held a food giveaway for those in need in their community. The local usually holds a golf outing this time of year, but Local 916 President J.P. Fyans III said it was obvious what needed to be done this year.
“We did this because of the unprecedented nature of what’s going on in the country and the needs that families have right now. We’ve never seen anything like this before and we wanted to help out in any way we could,” Fyans said.
Along with the spread of the coronavirus has come an increase in unemployment. Both have afflicted communities in different ways, and Fyans wanted to help in his.
In announcing their food drive, Local 916 wrote, “It is our plan to spread as much goodwill, optimism and nourishment as we can to those impacted by the high unemployment rates of today and hardships in providing needed nourishment. We are all in this together and to the extent we can do our part, we hear the calling and want to give back in any way we can. We have planned this event in lieu of our normal golf outing.”
The goal was to serve 500 families in need but they ended up giving out 1,000 boxes of food from the local’s parking lot. The food came from two local area union distributors, Sysco Central Illinois and MJ Kellner. In addition, the water and milk were donated by Heartland Coca-Cola and Prairie Farms—also both union companies.
Each box of food contained a five-pound chicken, two industrial-size cans of corn and green beans, a five-pound tub of peanut butter, a loaf of bread, a bag of carrots, a bag of apples, two cans of soup, a gallon of milk and a six pack of water.
A local news station even did a story on their event.
“This food drive was a great success,” Fyans said. “My staff worked hard to make this happen.”
In addition to Local 916 staff, many Teamster members volunteered, as well as other union people in the area who wanted to help out.
“This was a group effort, and Local 916 had the support of Joint Council 25 and other Teamster locals,” Fyans said. “Without their support, it would not have been anywhere as close to successful.”
Fyans said Local 916 will hold another food giveaway if there is a need for it.