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Food pantry fundraiser planned

A Desloge couple wanting to help out five food pantries in the northern part of St. Francois County are the impetus behind the Feed My Sheep Bake Sale being held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 24 at the Desloge First Baptist Church Family Ministry Center.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Bismarck Church of God Food Pantry, Bonne Terre/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, Elvins Food Pantry, House of Praise Food Pantry and the Immaculate Conception/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

The event will offer an opportunity for people to shop for fresh bread, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, gift baskets, dry mixes, handmade items and even used books.

Retirees Jack Poston said he and his wife, Elizabeth, were inspired to hold the fundraiser by the Help the Hungry Bake Sale held in Farmington, as well as the Feed the Families Bake Sale that takes place in Madison County.

It’s not like there isn’t a serious need for food pantries in St. Francois County.

“One in five people in our community is food insecure,” Poston said. “Our local food pantries are seeing more elderly and multi-generational families seeking help. In fact, 10 percent of seniors 65 or older are living in poverty and 9 percent are food insecure. Also, children growing up in food insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunted development from the earliest stages of life.”

Asked why the couple decided to step in and try to do something about the problem, Poston said, “My wife and I just felt there was a need and we wanted to do this. I’m not going to say we were lead by God, but it was weighing heavy on our heart that somebody needed to do something.”

After speaking with those in charge of the food pantry fundraisers in Farmington and Madison County, the Postons paid a visit to the East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) who gave them the names of food pantries in the northern part of the county.

“I know there are a lot of churches that have food pantries in the area, but we wanted to focus on the ones that work through EMAA,” Poston said. All the proceeds will be divided proportionately according to the number of people using the food pantry, according to EMAA’s records.

Poston stressed that the bake sale isn’t intended in any way to be the “Jack and Elizabeth Poston show.”

“We’re not doing this alone,” he said. “We’re getting support from a lot of people and churches to put this on,” he said. “This is in no way about us.”

Poston also wanted it known that, even though the bake sale is being held at Desloge First Baptist Church, the church isn’t sponsoring the event.

“All kinds of churches are participating,” he said. “We’ve got Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic and some non-denominational churches, too.”

According to Poston, there will be something of interest for everyone at the bake sale.

“We’re going to have a silent auction featuring donated services, merchandise and themed baskets,” he said. “There’s also going to be biscuits and gravy sold and a pastor-baked cake auction.

“People are encouraged to bring their baked goods to sell. You can bake whatever you like, but pies, cakes and bread bring in the most money. The more that is baked, the more people can be helped through the food pantries.”

Despite the name of the event, baking isn’t the only way people can participate in the bake sale.

“We have other ways you can be involved in the project, such as sponsorships and providing themed gift baskets,” Poston said. “Pick a theme for your basket, arrange the items in a pleasing way and wrap it with a clear material like cellophane. All items must be new.

“Shepherd’s House features all types of items like dry mixes, spiced tea and cocoa, cookie mixes in a jar, dip mixes, Chex mix and handmade items such as aprons, pot holders, napkins and homemade pet treats.”

Other items mentioned by Poston for the silent auction includes holiday wreaths and centerpieces, hobby items and the donation of services, merchandise and cash.

“We could also use paperback or hardback books,” he said. We will have a book table for books donated by our avid readers. We also need volunteers for the day of the event, as well as for setting up and cleaning up after the event.”

After talking about the details of the fundraiser, there was something else Poston had on his mind.

“We can’t thank enough the people with Help the Hungry and Feed the Families. They gave us so many tips and suggestions on how to put the bake sale on. They told us to start small this year and then grow from there. Because of them we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

For more information about Feed My Sheep, call Elizabeth Poston at 573-431-0391 or email the couple at post81@charter.net.

Jack and Elizabeth Poston have received helpful tips on how to put together a successful fundraiser from coordinators of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale in Farmington and the Feed the Families Bake Sale in Madison County. Both events bring in thousands of dollars each year to help out local food pantries. 

Jack and Elizabeth Poston have received helpful tips on how to put together a successful fundraiser from coordinators of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale in Farmington and the Feed the Families Bake Sale in Madison County. Both events bring in thousands of dollars each year to help out local food pantries. 

The Elvins Food Pantry is one of five pantries in northern St. Francois County that will benefit from the Feed My Sheep Bake Sale taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 24 at the Desloge First Baptist Church Family Ministry Center. The others include the Bismarck Church of God Food Pantry, Bonne Terre/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, House of Praise Food Pantry and Immaculate Conception/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

The Elvins Food Pantry is one of five pantries in northern St. Francois County that will benefit from the Feed My Sheep Bake Sale taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 24 at the Desloge First Baptist Church Family Ministry Center. The others include the Bismarck Church of God Food Pantry, Bonne Terre/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, House of Praise Food Pantry and Immaculate Conception/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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