The ongoing and increasing success of the Fare for All food distributions in St. Joseph, along with other food programs, is nothing less than remarkable.
Newsleader reporter Cori Hilsgen has been covering those distributions ever since they started months ago. The November and December distributions broke all previous records, with 884 packages of food that went to 431 households in the two November distributions (two instead of one because of bad weather on one date); and 707 packages for 348 households in the December distribution.
Fare for All is a program available to anyone who wants to stretch their food dollars. Thanks to purchases in bulk, the program passes savings on to customers, who pay a certain amount (about $20) for a big, generous package of a nutritional variety of foods, including meats and produce.
These days, with tight budgets, the Fare for All food packages are a big boost to many families having a hard time making ends meet. And unlike area food-shelf programs, anybody can participate in Fare for All.
The food is distributed from Resurrection Lutheran Church in St. Joseph once a month.
None of it would be possible without dedicated volunteers and organizer Amanda Roles. They all work very hard to get all the food packaged and distributed in a timely fashion.
And not to forget, Fare for All is just one of the many ways St. Joseph residents ensure food is a right for people, not just a privilege. The College of St. Benedict has sponsored – and continues to host – community meals now and then, meals that are a way to bring people together to get to know one another over a nutritious and delicious dining experience. The St. Joseph Area Food Shelf, in addition, has been a long-time help for people in dire need of food. All of those programs would be impossible without volunteers and the extraordinary generosity of the good people of St. Joseph, who take to heart the Gospel message of feeding the hungry, helping the poor, sharing the bounties of life.
All of those programs are a tribute to the small-town connectedness and caring of this city.
There is always a need for more volunteers for these food-distribution programs and community meals. To volunteer or to contribute, contact the St. Joseph Area Food Shelf, the CSB Community Meal program and – for Fare for All, contact Amanda Roles at rolesamanda@gmail or at 320-339-6268.
Meantime, residents who would like to try Fare for All should note the upcoming distribution dates, all at Resurrection Lutheran Church: Feb. 2, March 2, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.
Please also note the distribution hours have changed for 2015. They are now from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Volunteers are requested to arrive between 2:30-2:45 p.m.
St. Joseph can be very proud about the success of these programs. They are yet one more example of how it’s the quality of kind and caring people, not things, that make for a great city.