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Let’s keep Lord’s Cupboard strong

Providing food for those in great need is a vital mission

The holiday season is a time of year when most people are very responsive to philanthropic requests. Consequently, donations and offers of help are plentiful.

The needs of those who depend on charities for sustenance do not end just because Santa has returned to the North Pole. That is especially true for those individuals and families in our community who have difficulty affording one of the most basic essentials of life — food.

Since 1974, Lord’s Cupboard has provided vital help to people in our town who are short of the funds necessary to put food on the table. Located at 127 N. 10th St., this crucial Fort Dodge charity is the community’s largest food pantry. It is run solely on donations and through the dedicated work of an army of volunteers. It provides a way for people with few options to avoid hunger.

Quite simply it offers emergency food availability. Many of us may have only a limited appreciation of just how crucial a resource this undertaking truly is for Fort Dodge. The magnitude of the contribution Lord’s Cupboard makes is impressive. With 2019 not yet over, this food bank has already served roughly 2,500 individuals. It is sobering to recognize that one in six children in our county are food insecure.

The Lord’s Cupboard has an ongoing, year-round need for donations and volunteers. As 2020 approaches, however, there is a plan underway to upgrade and relocate its facilities. This is needed because the present basement location is not easily accessed by people with handicaps due to the stairs. That limits access for both patrons and potential volunteers. While Joni Ham-Olson, who directs Lord’s Cupboard, and her dedicated team employ workarounds to serve people who need food, a more satisfactory, long-term solution is needed.

The hope is to move Lord’s Cupboard out of the basement of the building it occupies up to main floor. The renovation could include adding handicap-accessible restrooms as well as electrical work and new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. Part of the revamped space would be used by First United Methodist Church.

The Messenger applauds the important work Lord’s Cupboard undertakes. This charity is a huge asset to our community and helps address a genuine need that appears likely to continue well into the future. We strongly support the ongoing efforts of Lord’s Cupboard and urge our readers to explore how they can help it fulfill its mission as well as turn the desired renovation into a reality. To learn how you can assist, contact Ham-Olson at the Lord’s Cupboard – 576-7586. Her email address is lordscupboardfd@hotmail.com.

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