Fill a bag, feed a family

This project started with a question in one Grace Community Group in October 2014: What if we could provide Christmas dinner for needy families within an entire school?

They did more than just ask the question; they became the answer.

So, in December 2014 that Community Group partnered with the staff at Larkspur Middle School to identify 50 families in need. They raised money, worked with the school for the logistics of the project, purchased groceries and delivered the meals. When they saw how doable the initiative was, and the responses of the families that received these dinners, they came to a simple conclusion:

Let’s do it again. And bigger this time.

Since 2015 and because of the generosity of Grace Bible Church attendees, we have been able to give over 500 families in Virginia Beach and Norfolk Christmas dinners every year! It’s more than a meal; it’s helping children know and experience the joy and hope of the Christmas season, drawing them into the celebration of the birth of Christ in a special way.

One mother shared: "We've only recently transitioned out of homelessness. It's been all I can do to keep me and my girls in this apartment, much less think about getting us a nice Christmas dinner. But you guys didn't forget us. We felt the love. Thank you." 

Would you come alongside Grace and join us again this year?   

Questions you might ask: 

Which schools are we adopting? How did they get chosen?   In addition to our 8 partner schools, we are working with over 20 additional schools in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. We will work with the guidance staff at each school to identify needy families and we’re anticipating 500 families. We chose these schools based on their proximity to our campuses, hoping for increased favor as we seek to build good relationships with our neighborhood schools. We want to be a church that is reaching out to its community.  Each year, more schools reach out to Grace to ask for assistance.

What do I bring in? And by what date?   Your shopping list is affixed to the brown bag you may have received. The bag isn’t necessary, but we do ask that you stick to the shopping list. Please check expiration dates so that the food is good through January 2020. We’re collecting in the lobby from August 18 through September 1. The shopping list is included below.

Can I volunteer for this project?  Yes! We’ll need volunteers to receive bags on Sundays, help sort, and distribute the bags.  You can sign up at the following links:

How can my business, community group or sports team get involved? We are actively looking for groups to sponsor turkeys for our families. Here's the link to sign up to sponsor turkeys. Someone from the Fill a Bag team will contact you with details as we get closer to December.

Shopping List

  • 2 – 6 oz boxes of cornbread stuffing

  • 3 – 14.5 oz cans of green beans

  • 3 – cans of corn

  • 2 – 29 oz cans of sweet potatoes

  • 2 – 13.75 oz boxes of mashed potatoes

  • 3 – turkey flavored gravy packets

  • 3 – 15 oz cans of fruit cocktail

  • 2 – 17.5 oz bags of sugar cookie mix

  • 1 – 16 oz can of icing for cookies

Please ensure that items are good through January 2020 by checking the expiration dates.