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West Point community provided food for others two different ways

Gerardo Osorio

February 06, 2020

“It makes me feel like a better person even if I can help a little bit,” said West Point-Beemer High School junior, Zach Vander Griend. Fortunately, Vander Griend isn’t the only person who feels this way. For many high school students, it is common to work at food distributions and food banks whether it be for community service hours or simply as an act of kindness.

            In West Point, Trinity Church offers food distribution service with the help of the Salvation Army.

            The Salvation Army was created by William Booth in 1865, with the help of his wife, Catherine, and his daughter, Evangeline. The Salvation Army states that its goal is to fight poverty with love.

            Services provided by the Salvation Army for those impoverished include shelter, meal assistance, “Pathway of Hope,” and employment assistance.

            Trinity Church hosts food distribution days in West Point every third Saturday, once a month. They distribute food from the Salvation Army office in Norfolk. Some food items the Salvation Army offers are canned goods, pasta, rice, tomato sauce, produce, proteins, bread, desserts, which vary from month to month.

            Pastor Priscilla Hukki, Grace Lutheran and Trinity Church pastor explained that food is distributed based on how many people show up and how big their families are. The only qualification for receiving aid is that the person lives in Cuming County and brings identification that proves he resides in the county.

            The distribution is put on with the help of volunteers. Pastor Priscilla said that some months, the church has barely any volunteers, and other months they have more than they need. If anyone is interested in volunteering, all they have to do is show up ready to work.

            Volunteers are asked to meet at Trinity Church at 8 a.m. the day of distribution.

            Pastor Priscilla also mentioned that the amount of food and families varies every month, leading to some frustrations. She said some months, there is half as much food, and twice as many families, which leads to everyone getting less, and some getting nothing at all.

However, her biggest reward comes with seeing everyone leave with their hands full. She added, “This is a service the Salvation Army offers for people who are less fortunate, and those people are thankful for whatever they receive.”

An additional service provided by the West Point community is the local food bank. Jennifer Macklin, one of two coordinators, detailed the program. She said that people can donate money or food items by contacting the hospital at 402-372-2404.

 All food donated is stored at the Stover Chiropractic building, and money donations are used to buy items around the holidays. In addition, Macklin said food is distributed to people around Easter and Thanksgiving, but people can get boxes on their own throughout the year.

The only requirement for receiving boxes is that a person brings a valid I.D. Also, people are only allowed to take boxes once every three months. If a person wants to get a box, he can contact the hospital and set up a time to pick up his box.

Macklin said the program is designed to help people get back on their feet, and currently, about 30 people regularly use the program.

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