By Dwight Hart, Ministerial Volunteer
Almost monthly you read about our clients and volunteers and what they are able to accomplish. In a positive view, they are a tough bunch. February is a case in point.
If you live in this part of the world, you know about our typical winters, summers, and all in between. I think our first snow was on October 25, 2020, and there are those, who believe that the date on which the first snow occurs will forecast the total number of snows for the season – 25th date means 24 more snow events to match the old timer’s forecast. By the time our February distribution rolled around, there were those, who were afraid that the forecast wouldn’t work and that the snows would continue.
The winter season had been somewhat milder than most had thought, but when it snowed and got cold, it really snowed and really turned cold. Snow began, and by the time the food was to arrive, lots and that means LOTS of snow was on the ground. Jimmy McNary from the City of Lancaster spent time before the semi from Columbia was scheduled to arrive, by clearing a path and coming multiple times to keep the drive open and a place where volunteers could safely park. Pat Robinson arrived and did the final cleanup and making the job more complete for the distribution days.
The temperature was typical of the “good old days,” when our parents walked uphill both ways to school and wore socks with holes for mittens! According to the official Lancaster, Missouri Weather Channel Record February temperatures for the period of Wednesday February, 10 through Tuesday, February 16 were, 10th-high 12, low 2; 11th-high 8, low 3; 12th-high 1, low 5; 13th-high 1, low 5; 14th-high 3, low 8; 15th-high 1, low 9; and Tuesday the 16th-high 9, low 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now in anyone’s imagination, those are brisk temperatures. Factor in the wind and the “wind chill readings.” and that leads to “I would rather stay at home today!” Let me repeat, “It was cold, and our clients and volunteers are one tough group.” God bless them all.
So, we offer a tribute to those, who work so hard and consistently to help others and to those, who visit monthly to secure food for their families and to those, who use the great ingredients received each month in the preparation of nutritious and nourishing meals for themselves and others. A special “thank you” should be expressed to those, who manage and guide our local food pantry in Schuyler County to success each and every day.
We should offer a major gratitude to those at the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, who dedicate their lives and effort to help others. We have been the recipients of their major efforts since December, 2005. Our lives are better, because of the dedication of so many others, whom we have never met or known. Bless each and every one!
The month of February featured the semi delivery on the second Wednesday, the February 10 of 22,676.98 pounds of food that was unloaded, stored, and prepared for boxing on Thursday, and distribution on the Friday and the following Monday to 398 persons from 162 families. And, as usual, it was great food. Some sample items included apples, hot dogs, cereal, orange juice, veggie snaps, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, rice, tuna, ramen noodles, cereal bars, mac and cheese, hot chocolate, sausage biscuit meals, and other frozen foods, including
ground pork sausage. Additional items in the refrigerated, produce, and frozen categories completed orders for families.
The pantry was set up for getting the boxes most easily to vehicles driven to the pantry and to get clients served, as quickly as possible. It is always amazing to see the efficiency of the volunteers, as they quickly serve the visiting families. And in all of this did we say, “We had really cold temperatures complete with lots of accompanying wind and still arriving snow in intermittent, gusty intervals?” I could be repeating myself, but it really was really, really cold!!