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Feeding the 5000 -Annual effort to aid families officially kicks off today

posted Feb 16, 2013, 7:00 AM by Karla Reynolds   [ updated Feb 16, 2013, 10:28 AM ]


Numerous churches are working together to help local people in need as part of the 16th annual Feeding the 5,000 Families food drive, which officially kicks off today. The interfaith event, which organizers say is the longest running of its kind in the nation, will begin with a concert at St. Joseph’s Chapel, located at 749 N. Hayes Ave., in Pocatello, at 6:45 p.m. today. The event is free, but organizers will be accepting voluntary donations of food and money for the drive. Also taking part will be the Snake River New Horizons Band, presenting a medley of songs at 7 p.m. Casey Emerson and Beth Buxton will perform. Lynda Montgomery, co-chair of the event and a member of the First United Methodist Church said the concert usually draws a full house.

“The entertainment is just out of this world,” she said, adding that this year’s event will include choirs, bands and soloists from area churches who will perform pieces ranging from “Allegro Shinichi Suzuki and March in G,” to “Candle on the Water” and “Amazing Grace.”

Norma Boyd, who will be accompanied by Marilyn Alldredge, perform “The Generous Will Be Blessed” — a song she composed for this year’s event, organizers said.

And Jolene Barnett-Stephens will share this year’s theme, which comes from Proverbs 22:9.

During tonight’s concert, organizers say they will also discuss the food drive and how it helps the Idaho Foodbank to help others in the community.

Merriann Forrest, program specialist for the Idaho Foodbank, said the Feeding the 5,000 Families food drive contributed $10,672.08 in funds last year and 18,835 pounds of food.

“It’s been a very good success,” she said, adding that the contributions go out to agencies that help families in need.

Forrest said the contribution makes a big difference for the food bank.

“(We receive a lot of donations) throughout Christmas and the holidays, but then the giving mood drops off after January,” she said. “We need food 365 days a year so it really helps to have events such as Feeding the 5,000.”

Montgomery said local churches will be collecting food and funds for the drive through at least March 31.

And general members of the public can also contribute to the cause by donating items directly to the Idaho Foodbank on behalf of the Feeding the 5,000 Families food drive.

Montgomery said she personally enjoys participating in the event each year, which gives people an opportunity to set their religious differences aside and work together to help those in need.

“I love the fellowship we have,” she said, adding that she’s made a lot of good friends over the years. “It doesn’t make any difference what religion you are, we’re all in this together to help people.”
   Feeding the 5000 Families’ Interfaith Concert is today at St. Joseph’s Chapel. The event marks the start of the food drive campaign.

For more information about the food drive, visit www.feedingthe5000.org  .