At the beginning of this year WGTS/Wash DC set an ambitious goal to fill every food pantry in the Washington D.C. area with “Operation Fill the Pantry.” After getting off to a strong start, the initiative was put on hold because of the pandemic. Now “Operation Fill the Pantry” is making a successful return socially distanced, of course. WGTS is teaming up with McLean Bible Church to collect non-perishable food items in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. McLean Bible Church has campuses in all three regions making it an ideal partner for collecting food which is then distributed back into those local communities.
“We’ve have been amazed by everyone’s generosity,” said WGTS community engagement director Jitesh Ram. “Back in the spring we were holding these events at area Walmart stores and collecting around 2,000 pounds of food per event. Incredibly, now we’re collecting 4,000 pounds plus at these church locations. While we are seeing fewer people, those that come are bringing more food than ever. They say they have been stocking up and looking for a way to help, and this is an easy way to do it.”
At each location listeners can drive through and drop off their food into bins right from their cars. There are also tents and tables available that have station goodies available. Most people still want to interact with the team. They drive up, put on a mask, drop off their food and take a couple seconds to chat.
“I guess that’s what you do when you see family you haven’t seen in a long time,” says Ram.
Pictured above a WGTS listener drops off food and chats with Community Engagement Director, Jitesh Ram