October 01, 2022

LETTER: Food for life

Ruby Stephens

Shannon City

We all need help sometimes in our lives. I like to think of Food for Life as a helping hand. We serve the four food pantries in Union County.

Two families have donated an animal to be processed into ground beef and this goes to those food pantries. Thank you. I also want to thank you to all the people who donate money that we used to buy meat from the grocery store at other times when this runs out.

My neighbor donated tomatoes and I know others donate other food items also. We are helping hands to our neighbors and friends.

How did this get started? I read and saw a picture of a farmer picking up meat from a Food for Life mission project in another Iowa county and I thought we can do that here at Platte Center. I talked to Rev. Gretchen Graf about it and she said we should ask the session about this; they gave the OK and Gretchen suggested we include other Union County churches.

We asked several churches to be on our board and now we have Arispe, Cromwell, Salem Lutheran, Christian and Holy Spirit along with Platte Center spreading the information about Food for Life. It was started in May 1983.

How would we distribute the meat? Who needed it? We contacted MATURA. MATURA serves Madison, Adams, Taylor, Union, Ringgold and Adair counties. The Union County office agreed to distribute the meat here in Union County. This past year we have taken meat to MATURA, O’Riley Food Pantry, Aspire Food Pantry in Afton and the Lorimor Food Pantry.

We drew up the guidelines very much like they are today. We wanted a logo to show we are helping hands. Vickie Austin was on the board and she is very artistic and drew the helping hands logo that is on our flyers yet today.

There were either three or four lockers at the time that could process the animals for us. Then we were down to Corning Processing Plant for years, now Weaver Processing Plant in Afton can take our animals donated by the generous beef producers because they have a meat inspector who checks these animals and assures us they are safe for the people who receive these meat donations.

Contact: Ruby Stephens, 340-1260; Shirley Ide, 344-4606 or 782-4729; Betty Abel, 782-8671; Alice Reed, 202-3355; Delores Dench, 202-0314; Jim, Rhonda Giles, 344-6880; Linda Huffman, 782-5517, 344-1631; Richard Ide, 344-1065; David Parker, 202-1994 and Cheralyn White, 202-6230.