Sunland Center’s Faith Used in Everyday Life (FUEL) Team recently sponsored a food drive. The resident-outreach club collected non-perishable food during Sunland’s 40th Annual Fall Festival and continued their efforts into the first two weeks of November.

Sunland Chaplain Ruth Moore, along with members of the FUEL Team, gathered with staff to deliver the food to the Chipola Family Ministries Center on Nov. 21.

Upon delivery, the food was weighed and team members learned they had collected 548 pounds of food just in time for Thanksgiving.

According to Moore, the idea for this community service project was inspired by Sunland’s appreciation for the strong show of support that the community poured upon the center and its residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

The Sunland FUEL Team wanted to partner with the Sunland staff and people from the local community to support individuals and families in the greater community-at-large who may need assistance. When asked about the origin of the FUEL Team, Moore said the group was formed in 2016. At the first meeting, she asked the residents three specific questions: “Is there anything that you have never done that you would like to do? Is there any place that you have never gone that you would like to go? Is there specifically anything you would like to learn?”

From there, the ideas came pouring in, Moore said. One resident said they would like to visit Connally Manor at Sunland and socialize with the elderly individuals who live there. “There were many other wonderful statements that reflected the residents’ compassion and how they wanted to serve and love others,” Moore said. During the meeting, an individual named Mary shared what she thought the group could do. “With tears in her eyes, Mary said ‘I have lived on the streets. I have been hungry, and I know what it is like. I would like to do a food drive for the hungry people in our area,’” Moore recalled.

Since that first meeting, the Sunland FUEL Team has been busy. They have organized several community service projects to include the Jackson County Backpacks for Kids, Ronald McDonald House, Eastpoint Fire Donations, stuffed animals for Marianna Health and Rehab, Thanksgiving meal deliveries, and previous community food drives for the Chipola Ministry Center.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Sunland FUEL Team, call Sunland Chaplain Ruth Moore at 850-482-9371.

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