Neighbors helping neighbors: Church to help distribute food

Neighbors helping neighbors: Church to help distribute food
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Volunteers filled their own vehicles with food to assist with the distribution.

                        

The Midvale United Methodist Church is partnering with the Village of Midvale to distribute food to residents living within the corporation limit on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 3-6 p.m. This is the second food distribution made possible through funds from the CARES Act.

The church was asked to facilitate this project, and it is being headed up by church members Randy Cadle and Rod Wilson, along with a committee including Pastor Aaron Linard, Sherry Hawkins and Tracey Milburn.

“A portion of the CARES money was used because the village felt that the coronavirus has had a significant economic impact on its residents, and a method to help them was to provide food,” said Candie Wilson, a member of Midvale United Methodist and a volunteer for the food-distribution project.

The first distribution was held as a drive-thru in November when 176 family-sized Thanksgiving meals were distributed, providing food for 537 people. The meals included a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, noodles, canned vegetables, cake mix and frosting. Congregation members who offered to help were scheduled to either unload, pack, distribute or deliver the food.

“The village and church have been working together to serve the community of Midvale on an ongoing basis,” Wilson said. “When the CARES money became available, the idea came to the village to do a food distribution, and they enlisted help from the church to oversee the project.”

To purchase the food, $12,000 was allotted. In November, twenty-three volunteers from the church participated, and distribution took place at the Midvale Firehall. The second food distribution will help residents have a better Christmas, and the church members have spent much time to prepare.

“To get ready for distribution, the church formed a small planning committee to decide what foods would be purchased and distributed, notify the public, contact local businesses, and order the items, along with gathering, packing and distributing the foods,” Wilson said.

Items were purchased from Buehler's, Mako's, Save-a-Lot, Hillcrest Orchard and Dollar General. The nonperishable food items are packed the day before distribution with meats and fresh items added on the day of the distribution. All residents of the village living within the corporation limits are eligible.

For the Midvale United Methodist Church, helping people in need has been an ongoing project.

“The church has provided food and hygiene baskets to area families for many years with help from the Midvale Club (a group of Midvale High School graduates) and working with the Midvale Lions Club,” Wilson said. “It has also supported the Twin City Christian Service Center, both financially as well as with donated items from congregation members and through Vacation Bible School.”

The church started a mini food pantry box last spring due to the local impact from the coronavirus. “It has been temporarily suspended while doing the food distribution, but we are looking at ways to reopen it after the first of the year, weather permitting,” Wilson said.

The response from the community has been positive.

"We are looking forward to the next distribution on Dec. 17 as this project is an opportunity to connect with the community and reach the residents by helping to meet their needs both physically and spiritually," Wilson said. "It has been a great experience building the church and village relationship and planning projects for the future."

The church stays active to make its community a better place. One of its most recent projects includes a Christmas tree, donated by Schoenbrunn Landscaping, that was planted at the Veterans' Memorial Park on Nov. 2. The tree was later decorated, and a tree-lighting was held. In the future, post pandemic, the church would like to hold an old-fashioned Christmas fair.

Welcome baskets also are delivered to new Midvale residents by the church. They also have a program called Blessing Local Businesses, which is currently on hold until after the pandemic. Each month a different business is featured, and church members sign up to deliver treats to the featured business of the month. The church also held an encouragement car parade through the village last spring to help raise the spirits around the community.


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