Church partners with Cover 3 for food collection challenge

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

by Felicia Blow

More than 13 million children in America live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. That figure triples when you add in the parents. Children who don’t get enough to eat — especially during their first three years — begin life at a serious disadvantage. When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.

So for the 2017 Christmas holiday, Eternal Life Church’s Women’s Ministry is partnering with the Franklin-based Cover 3 Foundation to host a “500-pound” food collection challenge. Since opening its doors, the Cover 3 Foundation has prepared more than 2.5 million healthy meals for children of the South Hampton Roads and Central Virginia regions.

“How did we choose 500 pounds? Frankly, we thought it would be catchy, and therefore would help us break through the holiday information clutter and create stronger awareness of this effort,” said Eternal Life Women’s Ministry Chairwoman Carolyn Walker. “Also, you often hear about people’s success stories of “losing” pounds, but this goal trying to raise 500 pounds of food is an interesting angle! Ideally, it would be great to quadruple this figure in this challenge, but we started at this amount.”

According to research, most adult humans eat between three to five pounds of food per day. Therefore, this challenge can potentially provide a single individual with anywhere from three to five months of food. Further, the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a meal as 1.2 pounds of food. Using this calculation, this effort can potentially generate more than 400 meals. Finally, while cans of food vary in size and weight, on average, one can of food contains one pound of food.

Eternal Life Church, located at 102 W. Barrett St. Franklin, will serve as a drop-off location for the 500-pound food collection challenge. Items can be dropped off on the following schedule:

• Sunday, Dec. 3, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Sunday, Dec. 17, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Wednesday, Dec 20, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Also, the Cover 3 Foundation facility, located at 125 S. College Drive, Franklin ,is available in December only from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, for non-perishable food drop-offs.

“We ask donors to avoid donating junk food and soda,” said Greg Scott, president and CEO of the Cover 3 Foundation. “Although you may think a donation of chips, candy, or other treats might help break up the monotony of the typical donations, it is the high-quality, nutritious foods they we really need. Although we love the generosity, we really don’t need more candy or soda or anything like that.”

Finally, following is a list of the best non-perishable foods to donate for this challenge: apple sauce unsweetened; boxed stuffing; canned chili; canned chicken; canned beans; canned fruit in juice (not in light or heavy syrup); canned vegetables, with no or low-sodium; canned yams dry beans; canned tuna in water; canned tomatoes; canned pumpkin; canned stews whole grain; cereals, low-sugar cold; chicken, beef and vegetable broths and stock; cranberry sauce; diced tomatoes; dried fruits, no sugar added; dried macaroni; honey; nuts, unsalted; oatmeal; olive or canola oil; pasta (especially whole grain); peanut butter; pasta sauce low-sodium;  peanut butter, or other nut butters; popcorn kernels (not microwave popcorn), quinoa; rice (especially whole grain); rolled oats; seeds, unsalted; shelf stable milk and milk substitutes; soups low-sodium; and trail mix

For more information, or donation opportunities, contact program co-chairwoman Felicia Blow at 408-0057 or; you also may visit the Eternal Life Church Facebook page.