Hunger March Saturday benefits Lord’s Cupboard

Now in existence for 41 years the Lord’s Cupboard is Webster County’s largest source of help for the food insecure. It is our mission to continue Christ’s work by feeding the unemployed, the working poor, the elderly and the physically and mentally challenged in the Fort Dodge area. We strive to foster a caring atmosphere and treat each person with dignity and care about each one as an individual. They are dedicated to maintaining a continuous growth in service to assist the clients to improve their quality of life. It is the hope that those who receive food will be strengthened both in body and soul. In order to meet the mission and provide services in the community, they rely on the generosity of individuals, churches and businesses for support.

Going into the second annual Hunger March we are excited to have a communitywide event to support the Lord’s Cupboard. It’s true – and may be surprising – but the community and businesses had never been publicly asked for support in years past. The time in the economy has come and it is taking much more to provide than the humble beginnings of a “pantry” 41 years ago.

A Hunger March will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Mall. One of the goals of the Lord’s Cupboard director and Advisory Board is more community involvement and awareness. The national average for those that are food insecure, meaning having to make financial choices between putting food on the table or a roof over their head is 12.9 percent. In Webster County that jumps to 15 percent. That is one in five children and more than 3,600 individuals in the community who are food insecure. Last year the Lord’s Cupboard served 1,215 households representing almost 3,000 individuals. This is a slight increase over 2013. General grocery costs – especially of eggs, milk and beef – are rising quickly. The need has never been greater and is anticipated to increase. The Hunger March is intended as a tool to communicate what the Lord’s Cupboard provides as much as it is a fundraiser.

Even with food drives, Feeding America donations and being a Food Bank of Iowa agency the grocery bills for the Lord’s Cupboard run $6,000 to $10,000 a month presently. More than 4,000 pounds of food is distributed monthly through 24 to 30 volunteers seeing clients eight hours a week. Along with nonperishable food and monetary donations other ways to support the ministry include volunteering either at the Lord’s Cupboard or on the board or special event committee or collecting and bringing your plastic grocery bags in as we use 100s a week double bagging for clients groceries.

To support this worthy ministry in the community you can make a donation and or gather co-workers, neighborhoods, friends or club members and March as a team collecting pledges. One lap around the Crossroads Mall is 5/8 of a mile, four laps is 2 miles. Pledges in any amount are accepted. Some suggestions are $5 or $8 per lap (ask your walker how many they plan to do), $25 provides a visit for one to two people or $50 a family of four. Collect pledges on your own, join a team or make a donation and walk with us at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Mall.

For more information contact me at 576-7586 or email lordscupboardfd@hotmail.com.

Team packets, pledge envelopes can be picked up during office hours at First United Methodist Church, 127 N. 10th St., as well as donations sent to that address.

Join the Lord’s Cupboard group Facebook page as well to stay connected.

Suzanne Schwendemann is director of the Lord’s Cupboard.