By TOM ragan
SENTINEL STAFF WRITER
WATSONVILLE — Somebody up above is looking out for Second Harvest
Or maybe it's just the 3,000 members who belong to the Aptos-based
Twin Lakes Church who collected nearly 50,000 pounds of
nonperishable food for Second Harvest.
Two weeks ago, the church set out to help the hungry and the poor by
calling on its parishioners to bring food to church in an attempt to
feed the poor and the hungry as Thanksgiving approaches.
Friday, the food bank finally finished the to-and-fro hauling that
has ensued in the past two days from Aptos to Watsonville — ever
since it got word of piles and piles of donated canned foods.
"This is the largest single donation we've ever gotten from a church
in the history of the food bank," said Lee Mercer, director of
education and outreach for Second Harvest.
Pastor Rene Schlaepfer and his wife, Laurie, said the church holds a
Share Fest each year where its members help the community with
various projects — whether it's painting school hallways in Santa
Cruz County or pitching in to clean up a section of road.
This year, Twin Lakes Church directed its attention to the food
bank, which distributes food on a monthly basis to roughly 43,000
hungry people living Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.
"We called up Second Harvest, and we asked them how much it would
take to feed the hungry in Santa Cruz County, and they told us about
25,000 pounds a week," said Laurie Schlaepfer, in recounting how the
donations started rolling. "We figured that would come to roughly
8.5 pounds per man, woman and child in our congregation."
Ultimately, the members of the congregation went beyond the call of
duty, with some families bringing as much as 100 pounds of food a
piece," Lori Schlaepfer said.
"We were just shocked," she said, "and of course, Second Harvest was
shocked, too. It took them two and a half days to load it all."
Mercer said the food will be distributed to the thousands of
families as early as next week.
"This was a fantastic donation," he said. "It just shows how people
can help other people if they just take a little time out of their
lives and help out."
Contact Tom Ragan at firstname.lastname@example.org