Two Disaster Relief Volunteers Deliver over 180,000 Meals during COVID-19
It’s no surprise that when disaster strikes, Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers come running. Recently, the Arkansas Foodbank called Randy Garrett, Director of Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief for help distributing meals to those in need. The Foodbank was experiencing a sharp increase for those in need of food as a result of COVID-19. It was not long before Garrett found the perfect team for the job, Bill Hill and Rick Duff. The two are a part of DR Feeding Unit One, which is stationed in North Little Rock. “Why Randy chose us, I don’t know,” Hill said. They were up for the job, though. Between March 16 - May 1 the duo delivered 183,330 meals to schools, churches, and communities across Arkansas. Duff had a permit license that enabled him to drive the box truck, while Hill tagged along to help load and unload the boxes. It all started when schools were told to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It continued to grow as schools remained closed for the duration of the semester and severe weather continued to impact the state. “Last week we delivered 2,000 boxes,” Hill said. Each box contains approximately 14 meals.
The guys worked 4-6 days a week, up to 14 hours a day traveling around Arkansas to deliver boxes of food. Their usual routine was to show up early in the morning, pick up the boxes, find out where they need to go, and then they were off. “I’ve been to places I’ve never seen before,” Hill said. The usual route was supposed to be central Arkansas, however, with disasters in Jonesboro, Helena/West Helena and other parts of the state, their route expanded. “We’ve been to Clinton, White Hall,” Hill said. “We’ve been to Helena three times.” Give or take, Hill says they probably delivered 1,500 to 2,000 boxes a week. The amount of miles the guys have put on the odometer is impressive, but Hill assures that they deserve none of the credit. They’re just doing their job.