Food Drive Wrap-up

The January 2015 Fill the Shelves Food Drive is over. In one month, the 31 participating OR-ID congregations donated 79,985 pounds of food to our communities! People throughout Oregon and Idaho are enjoying satisfying meals and a bit of peace of mind because of the efforts of their local United Methodist Church.
Okay, let’s get to the superlatives! The most pounds donated by a single church - 18,652 pounds in the month of January, 2015 - goes to Oak Grove UMC! 18,652 pounds of food! How did they do it? 312 pounds of groceries plus $2751 (accumulated through special offerings and fund raising) donated to the Oregon Food Bank combined to equal 18,652 pounds. The folks at Oak Grove could have settled for the groceries alone as a donation. They could have used the money collected to repaint the lines in the parking lot. They could have up-dated tech equipment or replaced a furnace on its last leg. These are all worthy projects but these funds were collected to serve the neighborhood. Intentional neighborhood mission has been part of OGUMC for longer than anyone remembers. Recognizing the folks at Oak Grove for their huge donation to the Oregon Food Bank is a joy!
Shelley-Community UMC started their food ministry over 30 years ago. Like many good works, a couple concerned lay people had a vision that led to action. Upon hearing of an increased need in two families in the congregation, two “dear little ladies” began collecting food items to supplement the two families facing tough times. Thirty years later, what was once housed in the corner of a Sunday school room now fills the building once called the parsonage. The original two families helped have grown to 65 families fed through those doors. In the month of January, Shelley-Community UMC donated 11,010 pounds to their community. With an average attendance of 13, that equals 847 pounds per person! 847! How can this be? Shelley is happy to share their secrets! In the process of feeding people, Shelley also provides an avenue for folks not connected to a church to serve others. Some of these people have never been interested in church. Some have been hurt by past relationships with churches. All the volunteers are passionate about the work whether they also worship on Sunday or not. The volunteers collect near-dated food from local grocery stores. They collect day old bread from bakeries. They work closely with the Idaho Food Bank and other food pantries. Pastor Lefler of the Shelley church reports, “If Shelley needs green beans, they call the local LDS church. Next thing you know, a truck load of canned green beans shows up.” The folks at Shelley are always looking for additional alliances, new sources for donations and additional partners in service. Feeding the neighbors is their goal. Serving Christ is their mission.
Would you like additional details about the food drive? Please contact me. Now, I have some cookies to bake!
Mary Foote
Conference Lay Leader

Mary Foote
Mary Foote was elected as Conference lay Leader in 2012. She is a mom, wife, and dental hygienist. As a member at the Hillsboro United Methodist Church she is active in many areas, but has a special passion for Hispanic Ministry and the English as a second language program. Contact her at marycfoote@yahoo.com or (503)648-3072.