The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 15, 2014

Good Shepherd Food Pantry making a difference

BLAKESBURG — Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg began its third full year of operation this month. Start-up funds included the South Central United Methodist Conference grant of $1,200 and a large cash donation from Hope Well Church in response to a letter sent to all Blakesburg area churches while the project was still in the planning stage.

Several of the nearly 90 food insecure families served since the program began in March 2012 regularly visit the food pantry twice a month.

The huge success of the project, which serves Blakesburg, Moravia, Moulton and Unionville, is thanks to the donations and hard work of so many individuals and small churches in the community, said director Vera Miller. Services have expanded since inception to include a wide assortment of men's, women's and children’s clothing, occasional small household items, plus free hair care one Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every three months provided by a licensed beautician.

The first Small Town Christmas this past winter, a fundraiser designated to help people struggling with fuel bills, was very successful thanks to the support of so many individuals and organizations within the community, said Miller.

Good Shepherd Food Pantry is located in the basement of Blakesburg United Methodist Church, which also provides utilities, insurance, donations, volunteers and board members. Other churches providing regular support include Blakesburg Christian Church with a regular cash donation each month, volunteers and board members; Mt. Zion United Methodist Church with donations and board members; Christiansburg United Methodist Church with food and volunteers; Brushy Community Church with regular monthly donations, and Light of Lights Church in Moravia shares its extra food from Wal-Mart donations to their food pantry.

For more information, call Vera Miller 641-938-2918.

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