Food Drive | The Press and Standard

by | December 27, 2017 5:30 pm

Last Updated: December 27, 2017 at 10:51 am

By GEORGE SALSBERRY
gsalsberry@lowcountry.com

It had to happen.
Phillip Taylor Sr. stood among the volunteers gathered for a Christmas food drive conducted at Saints Center Ministries on Dec. 20 and watched as approximately 200 people went through the line to receive fresh and canned fruits and vegetables and have the chance at rounding out their Christmas meal with meat and seafood.
A few months ago, Taylor explained, he was at work at Glanbia Performance Nutrition when Plant Manager Ken Sarley approached him.
Sarley knew that Taylor was pastor of Saints Center Ministries and his church and Taylor’s non-profit, the Phillip Martin Taylor School of Discipline Inc., conducted food distribution programs.
Taylor said Sarley told him “I would love for our company to come and partner with you to do a food distribution. — I will get the staff to volunteer and come help the people.”
Sarley, among the Glanbia employees at the food distribution, said the company’s employees “were out in the spirit of Christmas, trying to give back to the community.”
Employees from the company’s production, office, quality department, warehouse and maintenance worked the distribution line and moved the crates of food around. They shared the work load with other volunteers from the church and the community.
“It is a great way to give back to the community,” Sarley said. “This is what Christmas is about.”
About two weeks before the distribution, Lowcountry Food Bank, which usually provides the food for the distribution, said it would not have any trucks available and no food to distribute.
Taylor said with Glanbia lined up to volunteer, “I had to figure out how to do it.”
He got on the phone. I called a few friends, explaining that his non-profit “needed to raise $3,500 so that we can do it for the community.”
Taylor said, “From the day I made the first phone call and someone said they would contribute x number of dollars” the money came it.
Rounding out the supplies purchased from local grocery stores, Taylor was out at Walmart picking up a few things the night before the distribution. “One of our supporters came up and handed me a donation,” Taylor said. Then a Walmart employee “walked up and gave me $20.”
“Colleton, I will tell you what, this place has people who are just willing to give,” Taylor said. “It was phenomenal.”
One of the people to receive a call from Taylor was Lee Petrolawicz.
A few days later, Petrolawicz was on the phone to Taylor and said, “Phillip, I got the weirdest call today. I have someone who decided to donate food to a non-profit.”
That caller was Crawford Moore
“My daughter was supposed to get married hurricane weekend, we were supposed to have a big reception Saturday night,” Moore said. “Irma came and we had to pull back.”
His daughter got married that morning, but the evening’s wedding reception was canceled
“We had already paid for the food,” Moore said. Everything was frozen “but it was not going to keep.”
The original thought was to have a big party. The more he thought about it and the approaching Christmas season, Moore thought “people could use this, we could help some people with this.”
“Let’s give it away and hopefully give people a good Christmas,” Moore decided.
That plan drove Moore to call Petrolawicz, “a Citadel brother of mine, and tell him what I wanted to do.”
Petrolawicz told Moore he had some options. “Let me make a few phone calls.”
He called back and asked Moore if he knew Phillip Taylor. Moore said he did. Taylor is on Colleton County Council, Moore’s on Edisto Beach Town Council.
“Things fell right into place,” Moore said. “It was God’s will.”
Taylor said with all the meat and seafood Moore was donating being frozen, there was no time to dethaw it to even out the distribution.
The frozen items could go to about 100 families. The plan was to distribute tickets to everyone, both the clients and the volunteers at the food distribution.
With all the food ready for distribution, Taylor turned the program over to his sister, Rolets Taylor-Buckner.
“Rolets is the brains of the operation, she knows how to make all of this stuff happen,” Taylor said. “I raise the money, they (his sister and her team of volunteers) do the rest.”
“She is the logistics person for our community outreach and she is the right hand for me, rather I am doing business or community projects here at the church.”
It also helps that she can get everyone’s attention, he added. “It helps that she has a pastor’s voice, she got that from our dad.”
Taylor-Buckner, holding a basket full of tickets, said the distribution would be providing food for several hundred residents.
About 200 of the clients were at Saints Center Ministries, 60 bags were being delivered to the senior center and a smaller number of bags would be headed to the board of disabilities. “There are some families that could use some help there,” she explained.
Taylor-Buckner said she has done about 50 food distribution programs in the past three years. I’ve pretty much got it down to a science.”
She got involved in helping to orchestrate the food distribution, Taylor-Buckner explains, “because I saw the need in our community with so many people. I saw an opportunity.”

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