Grocery Cards for Families in Need
When the closures due to the Corona virus first started happening, our Crater Lake District came up with a way to help families in need. The District Extension Society offered each church in the district $2,000 to purchase grocery cards that would be distributed to the schools. Here in an email from our District Superintendent, John Tucker, the program is explained:
“The idea for Grocery Gift Cards originated from Leroy Barber as a way of responding quickly to a need in a way that shifts our narrative from being concerned about our own congregations to giving ourselves away to vulnerable people. The cards are meant to empower people and give them the dignity to use the cards as they choose. The school districts are the conduit that gets the cards to qualifying families. We are the generous resource with connections to schools. Schools are the vehicles of distribution. Recipients of the cards control how they are used. This is not primarily about giving free food. Many areas are providing meals but people need other supplies that school districts will not provide.”
I mentioned this in an email way back, inviting anyone who wanted to contribute to the program to send a check. We received an additional $200. We purchased 110 grocery cards from Sherm’s (the store was selected because it was central to our city, along with Walmart is a primary place those in poverty shop because they can get bulk and larger sizes of items, and because they can restrict the cards to only grocery items, no alcohol or tobacco). Those cards were given to the Klamath Falls City Schools Superintendent Paul Hillyer who then distributed them to the principals of all the schools in the city district based on proportion of students. Because I have the connection at Mills, I am hearing firsthand the stories of how helpful those cards have been. Teachers are in regular contact with families and are hearing firsthand who is experiencing extreme need. What a joy to be able to help with that need.
Council voted to use $1,000 of Mission Outreach funds to purchase cards for the county school district. Several members of council are contributing to the fund and our hope is to get to $2,000 for the county schools. If you would like to contribute, just make your check out to KFFUMC with the note in the memo line of “Grocery Cards.” We are blessed to be a blessing to our world!