Volunteers are vital to the free produce program at Victorious Life Christian Center, outreach community liaison Lisa R. Johnson said.
Ideally, she said, 40 church and community members would assist with distributing the fresh food to needy families through the Mid-Ohio Foodbank partnership that began in 2013.
Usually only 10 or 15 volunteers show up.
To help bridge that gap when the spring and summer produce giveaway returns March 22, a volunteer training class will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the church, 1875 Tamarack Circle N.
"They will be training for the procedures for going through our lines and for how we do registration," Johnson said. "They play a most vital role. Without the volunteers, we cannot do it."
Victorious Life Christian Center member Kelley Watson of Dublin has been volunteering at the produce distribution days for the past several years. She also has participated in programs to give away winter clothing at the church.
"I just help out wherever it's needed," Watson said. "It's just a way for me to jump in and help."
Volunteers register people seeking the free food as part of a computerized PantryTrak program, provide crowd control inside the church, hand produce to recipients and escort those who need help carrying it to their cars, Johnson said.
About 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of food are given out in about two hours, she said.
"We also offer prayer for those who need prayer," Johnson said. "If they ask for it, we have somebody available to pray for them."
"It is what I will call organized chaos," Watson said. "I work well under pressure, so I can switch up and do what's needed at the moment. The main thing I know ... my pastor would want is that we don't show frustration to the people. I want us to represent our church well.
"It's just a humbling experience."
Other spring-summer produce giveaway dates are: April 19, May 31, June 29 and July 26.