Jonathan Wakefield at Freedom Ministries in Shumway
Mel Gray with Farmweld and Alan Kollmann from Illinois Pork Producers at The Master’s Hands
November 20, 2019 – by Charles Mills at Effingham Daily News
Farmweld of Teutopolis and Illinois Pork Producers donated 1,770 pounds of ground pork Tuesday and Wednesday to three local food pantries. Receiving the pork were Catholic Charities of Teutopolis, Enduring Freedom Ministries of Shumway and The Master’s Hands of Newton.
Tuesday morning, Farmweld Vice President Lori Runde came to Catholic Charities to assist Food Pantry Manager Nickie Farris unload their ground pork donation, delivered by Mel Geiselman of Kirby Foods IGA.
Before the arrival of the ground pork, Runde was given a tour of the Catholic Charities food pantry by Farris. Farris explained more people come to the food pantry in November, December and January.
“Donations like those always mean so much to me and Catholic Charities,” Nickie Farris said. “We couldn’t do what we do without the help from organizations like Farmweld.”
Farris said Catholic Charities served 9,887 households, 30,947 individuals and 10,444 children from July 1, 2018 to June 30.
“It’s amazing how many people they reach,” Runde said.
“We are so fortunate to be part of a community that cares about each other,” Runde said. “What Catholic Charities do for people in need is just amazing.”
Runde said Farmweld’s ground pork arrived to the three pantries in 1-pound packages.
Farmweld Production Manager Jonathan Wakefield, a Shumway area native, represented Farmweld Wednesday at Enduring Freedom Ministries in Shumway.
“This is our way of giving back to the community,” Wakefield said. “And a way to show we care.”
Receiving the ground pork was Enduring Freedom Ministries Executive Director Vickie Kight.
“It is a blessing,” Kight said. “I really appreciate it.”
Kight gave Wakefield a tour of Enduring Freedom Ministries, showing him a new heater the ministries purchased and new shelving they recently received for their food pantry. According to Kight, the pork will be distributed with ingredients to prepare an entire meal. She said a special place is reserved on their pantry shelving for meal preparation.
“We’ll have a cooler here with the biscuits, a cooler for the pork and ingredients for making sausage, biscuits and gravy,” Kight said. “We won’t let them just take the pork. We want them to take all of the ingredients plus the recipe and we’ll want to know that you made it.”
“If this is for a family of four,” Kight said. “We are want to know your children are getting fed.”
Kight said approximately 1,600 people per month come through the food pantry. EFM has a soup kitchen that is open.
Enduring Freedom Ministries holds fundraisers throughout the year. They hope to one day purchase a 20 ft. truck to pick up pallets of food. Kight said with a 20 ft. truck they can get 8 to 10 pallets loaded at one time.
Farmweld is visiting The Master’s Hands food pantry in Newton for a donation on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
The IPPA Pork Power program began in 2008 and has donated 721,000 pounds of pork to families in Illinois. The donations have provided an estimated 3.8 million servings.