Church: Redeeming Grace Community Church
District: River Valley
Submitted by: Pastor Kristine Marshall
Every Friday, a team of volunteers meets at Lake City United Methodist Church to pack brown paper bags full of kid friendly foods that will feed 64 children and their families. These paper bags include a breakfast item (cereal or eggs), fruit, a lunch item, a snack, and dinner. There are also vouchers in the bags for milk and bread from area businesses. These bags are loaded into the volunteers cars and dropped off at the homes of the children.
The hunger of these kids came to my attention one Sunday morning as I watched a group of kids turn into chipmunks after stuffing their mouths full of doughnut holes. I began to ask them what they get to eat on Saturdays and Sundays when they aren't in school, their answer was, 'cereal.'
Through the help of United Way we secured funding from Cargill/Horizon Milling in town. We order our food from Channel One food bank in Rochester through the funding, and the community has donated much food. We now have a large food shelf in our church.
The program originally was supposed to be run through the schools using back-packs for distribution, but the schools were not open to this. We now have the program run out of the church, and it has been very successful--so successful that the community is starting take notice. Just one year ago people in Lake City did not believe that there were any hungry kids in their community, but that is no longer the case. "Packing for the Weekend" has caught the attention of the civic groups, the local newspaper, and even Congressman John Kline. We are so excited that we are not only feeding the children in town but also bringing about awareness that they exist!
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church