Food insecurity is an unseen problem in every community even here in the Baldwin/ Woodville / Hammond area. Often parents have a job but have trouble making ends meet. There are many things families can’t cut like gas to get to work; rent; or the power bill.

One of the few areas that they can cut is their grocery bill. So many families make this painful decision each and every day to survive. During the school year many families take advantage of the free and reduced lunch program to help fill in the gap as well as the schools’ backpack program.

However, there is a need during the summer months and this is where the Summer Food and Fun program comes in to walk alongside these families.

The Summer Food and Fun programs has its roots in the Presbyterian church who laid a solid foundation to help families receive the food support they needed over the summer.

Recently the Presbyterian Church partnered with Gethsemane Lutheran Church to continue the program and now all the events take place at Gethsemane Lutheran church. Summer Food and Fun is blessed with volunteers from across the community and is always looking for more volunteers.

The community support for this program has been outstanding with donations of food items from Crazy Fresh, Future Farms of Baldwin and Lakeside Foods of New Richmond as well as all of the people who donate their time to do fun activities, like hay rides, face painting, presentations, and crafts.

Our primary source of income comes from this great community. We plan on running an ad soon to thank all of the people and companies that have given generous to help us buy food.

Every Wednesday during the summer months, at least forty different families, came to participate in a fun activity; enjoy a meal with fresh veggies and fruit; and then leave with a bag of groceries for each child worth around thirty dollars.

We also distributed bags to Woodville and fresh produce to Hammond. Over the whole summer period we gave out a total of 395 bags which weighted about 8000 pounds. There was no income requirement to receive a bag so that no one was ever turned away.

This program is about helping others to get the food resources they need in a respectful and fun environment. With the program ending in early August as school begins, we want to thank the community for helping us, help our neighbors. We will back next year for another successful season and we appreciate all the support from this community.

Thanks you from the Executive Board of Summer Food and Fun: Pastor Paul Backstrom, Deb Mattison, Gerard Buechter, and Tami McManus.

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