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Letters to the Editor

Local food programs a success

We are so blessed to live in these rural area communities where people are so loving and so generous in giving of their time and talents!

For several years each summer, local churches through the One in Christ group and individuals have prepared and served meals to youth in the community. In the past, the average daily attendance in Creston was in the upper 60s and around 10 in Prescott.

This year the coronavirus pandemic allowed everyone the opportunity to be creative in meeting the needs of hungry neighborhood youth. The school districts rose to the forefront by providing meals from mid-March through July. Both the Creston Community School District and the Lenox Community School District served lunches that met the nutritional dietary guidelines. Creston’s drive through attendance averaged around 100 daily on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; Lenox sponsored Monday through Friday deliveries in Lenox, Clearfield, Sharpsburg and Prescott regardless of which school district the recipient youth was enrolled. Both districts made sure that no child was hungry in their areas.

The Creston Food Shelf, a program between the Creston School District and the Creston Area Food Pantry Inc., furnished a sacked weekend bag of shelf-stable food every Friday from mid-March through the end of the school year to youth in Creston and Prescott. When school is in session, bags of food will again be provided on Fridays.

When Creston school services ended, the One in Christ ecumenical group served summer lunches for six weeks to children until the start of this new school year. The group distributed grab and go hot meals Monday through Friday at the First United Methodist Church. Meals were sponsored by area churches: First United Methodist, Salem Lutheran, Platte Center, First Presbyterian, Holy Spirit Catholic, UCC Congregational, St. John’s UCC, and First Christian Disciples of Christ, with many individual volunteers.

Just over the county line in Adams County, the Prescott Public Library and the Prescott United Church Disciples of Christ collaborated with local sponsors to provide hot meals. The library program displayed grab and go reading and learning activities for youth of all ages. The Prescott Church served as host site for to-go meals sponsored by Prescott Quilters, Prescott Library Board, Prescott Eagles Nest LLC,

Cline Farms, Robison Construction, O’Riley Trucking, Prescott Fire and Rescue, Freedom Creek Prairie and Crystal Schafer and Lori Groves.

In addition to these efforts to combat hunger in our children, a new venue this summer was the grab and go lunches of shelf-stable food available to neighboring youth in the Rainbow Park vicinity sponsored by the Creston Area Food Pantry and One in Christ.

Why do I tell you about these activities? Many kind and generous individuals recognized that families are struggling with COVID-related circumstances, and food in the homes is scarce. Not only were the meals provided free of charge, but also many donors made sure that funds were available for the food supply. As I said, we are blessed and are grateful for the many willing hearts in our communities!

Some people ask if there is really a need to combat food insecurity. The overwhelming answer is “Yes!” While the numbers remained steady in Prescott this year, the attendance in Creston meals increased to 105 to 135 kiddos daily at the Methodist Church, plus 25 more at the Rainbow Park.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our young people! We practice the teachings of Christ with our heart-warming hospitality!

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