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Feeding the multitudes

Schwendemann leads The Lord’s Cupboard

October 7, 2012
By JESSE HELLING, , Messenger News

Though part of the community since the 1960s, The Lord's Cupboard is unknown to many Fort Dodgers.

For Suzanne Schwendemann, that's a situation that bears correcting.

Schwendemann, who became director of the food pantry in July, has worked to make sure The Lord's Cupboard becomes a more prominent presence.

Article Photos

Suzanne Schwendemann, director of the Lord’s Cupboard, poses among the shelves of food ready to be distributed to families in need.

"I'm looking to spread the word," Schwendemann said. -

That includes giving presentations in area schools and working with other charitable organizations.

"We're doing more work to share resources," she said.

For example, residents of the Beacon of Hope men's shelter have begun to assist at The Lord's Cupboard in unloading weekly bulk deliveries.

The Lord's Cupboard serves clients in need of supplemental food assistance.

Though located on the property of First United Methodist Church, the pantry, which is completely supported by donations, is open to all residents of Webster County. People seeking assistance can drop buy during set hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Five times in any given year, a person or family in need can seek supplies from the organization. Each client receives a set list of items in various categories.

"No one hungry is turned away," Schwendemann said.

In the current economic climate, need for The Lord's Cupboard's services has grown, Schwendemann said.

Each month, the organization provides between $6,000 and $10,000 worth of food and household supplies to clients, she said.

"July broke all records," she said. In all, 357 households comprising 1,118 people were served.

Comparable figures from the previous year were 222 households of 556 individuals, Schwendemann said.

Another initiative of Schwendemann's is to update the list to reflect more healthful choices - chicken, for example, in lieu of hot dogs.

"Our lists hadn't been updated since the 1970s," she said.

As with most charitable organizations, the need for donations is ongoing.

"One of the kind of odd needs we have is plastic grocery sacks," said Schwendemann.

According to Schwendemann, cleaning out a cupboard or drawer filled with accumulated sacks could provide a large boon for The Lord's Cupboard. If sacks are not donated, they have to be purchased, which takes away money that could go toward providing food.

"Save them and bring them down," she said. "Most people want to get rid of them anyway."



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