POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Pocatello Christian Outreach Center held its fourth Loads of Love drive at the Pine Ridge Mall on Saturday.
The group, which has already distributed over 100,000 pounds of food during the four drives this year, handed out an additional 20 tons to the community. It's estimated that those meals will serve more than 1,000 local families.
Pastor Doug Smith said the event wasn't about the church or any group. "It’s about a community being bridged together, being connected as one."
Cars snaked around the parking lot for nearly an hour as a team of 20 greeted drivers and loaded dairy products into their cars.
Gathering 40,000 pounds of food is no small task. Smith said a private group of donors makes it all possible.
"They simply want to be a blessing to them," he said. "They don’t want to know who they are or have any association, they just want to fuel this community the best that they can."
During the distributions, Smith said people often tell him how thankful they are, adding they might not have food on the table otherwise. Seeing the results of the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith said this drive is special.
"We might all be in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat. So, one family might have plenty and one family might have little. And there’s a lot to consider within that," he said.
"I can’t put a price tag on the value of being able to reach this community at this time."
Scores of people turning out just served as confirmation to the group they're doing the right thing.
“This isn’t about a church, it isn’t about a group of people, it’s not about a religion, it’s not about a race, it’s about a community coming together to be taken care of," he said.
"We just want people to know that - that we love ‘em and we believe in 'em, even if we don’t know ‘em."