(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The parking lots were full at East Hills Shopping Center Wednesday afternoon, but people weren't there for the reopening of some of the retail stores inside. It was the first giveaway for the Federal Farms to Families Food Program.
The food drive is run by Senior Pastor of The Keys Christians Fellow Church, Richard Bradley, in St. Joseph. He was asked to partner up with Foursquare Disaster Relief located in Las Angeles, Ca., 180 Disaster Relief, and The Dream Center which are both located in Tulsa, Ok.
"It's just amazing that this many people would come out,” organizer Richard Bradley said.
Hundreds of cars wrapped around the mall and even stopped in the streets to attend the Farmers to Families food drive that started on May 18.
The program is giving away fresh produce that the government purchased from farmers who planned on dumping the food.
“All the food, all the produce, and everything came from GoFresh Produce in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Bradley said.
Outside of the partnership, the Keys Christians Fellow Church was working with a multitude of volunteers from Missouri and Kansas.
"A host of different entities that are coming together to help with this project. There's no way that one entity can handle this, as you can see for yourself. We're overwhelmed, overwhelmed with joy because so many people are here,” Bradley said.
Individuals were allowed to pick up food for their families and even neighbors, bringing in thousands of people according to organizers.
"So if they are picking up for five families, they get six gallons of milk and five boxes of produce. We had to limit it that way to try to get it to go as far as it will go tonight,” Bradley said.
The event will last for 6 weeks and will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5 to 7 PM at East Hills Mall.