Donna Lutze is pictured in the food bank at Holyoke’s First United Methodist Church. — Johnson Publications
Lutheran, Methodist food banks open for National Food Bank Week
With the holidays around the corner, it’s important to take stock of one’s blessings and consider giving back to community members in need.
National Food Bank Week runs from Oct. 14-20 and is one great opportunity to donate to local programs that provide food for needy individuals and families.
Locally, Holyoke’s Zion Lutheran Church and First United Methodist Church offer food banks and other ways of giving back, and both encourage donations and serve people from outside of their congregations.
Although the churches do not have special programming planned for National Food Bank Week, both are encouraging donations as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach.
Zion Lutheran Church has been operating its food bank since 1978. Pastor Gary Rahe said the church started its food bank to fill an apparent gap in the safety net for needy individuals in the community.
“We felt like we needed to be an extension of the voice of our savior,” Rahe said.
The church’s food bank is open seven days a week, and those interested in seeking help or offering donations are asked to contact the church ahead of time at 970-854-2615.
Donations and help have come from various local institutions, including Agenda Club, United States Postal Service, 4-H, Melissa Memorial Hospital, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, CHS Grainland, Pamida, Thrivent and Holyoke schools.
The food packages are meant to provide about two weeks of groceries, and include fresh meat, fruits and vegetables. The church provides between 25-30 packages every month.
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