Fundraising dinner for food bank draws about 200

posted Mar 14, 2010, 8:58 AM by Karla Reynolds   [ updated Mar 14, 2010, 9:16 AM ]

BY DEBBIE BRYCE (dbryce@journalnet.com)

March 14, 2010 POCATELLO — About 200 people came out to support the Feeding the 5,000 Families food drive during a progressive dinner Saturday that kicked off with appetizers at the First Presbyterian Church at 202 S. Seventh Ave.

Jolene Barnett, a member of the Community Church of Christ, said the food was great and so was the turnout.She said the Community Church of Christ has been involved in the annual food drive since its inception. "It’s just been a nice community event," Barnett said. "And it’s one of the longest-running food drives in the U.S."

Following the first course, diners enjoyed soup and salad at the Central Christian Church, located at 918 E. Center St.
 
Karen Flicker from Grace Lutheran Church said the annual food drive is an important outreach for local churches. "I don’t like to see anyone go hungry," she said.

The interfaith event, currently in its 13th year, plans to raise 200,000 pounds of food to benefit the Idaho Foodbank. The cost for Saturday’s meal was $15 each or $25 per couple, with all proceeds going to the Idaho Foodbank.

Eastern Idaho Administrator of the Idaho Foodbank Roy Lacey said for each dollar donated, the Idaho Foodbank can buy $5 worth of food. "It’s a huge part of the food drive," he said. Lacey said in Pocatello, the demand for food increased as the economy declined. "People who have donated to us in the past are now looking for help," Lacey said.

Dawn McLaughlin from the Fourth Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints staffed the door Saturday.  She said the progressive dinner grows in popularity each year.The main course — roast beef, potatoes and gravy, vegetables and rolls — was served at the LDS Caldwell Park Building at East Lewis Street and Seventh Avenue. McLaughlin said about 500 pounds of food was collected during Saturday’s event, in addition to the cash donations.

About 20 local churches are involved in the annual food drive.

Karen McCall and Linda Jones launched Feeding the 5,000 Families 13 years ago as part of a series of Sunday school lessons at the United Methodist Church. The classes traced the life and teachings of Christ. McCall said when it came to feeding the 5,000, the teachers decided to get the community involved. Eight local churches signed on that first year. Feeding the 5,000 Families food drive had collected 1 million pounds of food by its 10th anniversary.McCall said the progressive dinner was the brainchild of Eric Brown, former pastor at the United Methodist Church.

The Portneuf Interfaith Fellowship donated meat for the dinner, which wrapped up with dessert hosted by the Holy Spirit Catholic Community in St. Anthony’s Chapel at 504 N. Seventh Ave.

The First United Methodist Church, Grace Lutheran Church and Trinity Episcopal Church also took part in the dinner.

Food items will be collected until March 31.

A special prayer service is planned at the First Presbyterian Church March 20 and the Feeding the 5,000 Families food drive ends April 19 at the Idaho Foodbank.
               Logan Henderson, left, and his sitster Cheris, are served at the LDS church on East Center Street as part of the rotating meal for Feeding the 5,000 Families food campaign here on Saturday.
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