The 13th annual Help the Hungry Bake Sale held at at St. Joseph Catholic School gymnasium in Farmington turned out to be a great place for those wanting to pick up some delicious holiday treats, as well as for the hungry in the community who will be helped because of the generosity of others.
Since its inception the Help the Hungry Bake Sale has raised nearly half a million dollars for the Farmington’s Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent de Paul food pantries. Last year, the Help the Hungry Committee donated $35,000 each to the two food pantries from proceeds of the bake sale, sponsorships and fundraising events.
According to bake sale founder and organizer Chris Landrum, this year the response was even greater than they had hoped.
“We called it our lucky 13,” she said. “We’re a little bit over where we were last year — we’re at $71,000 right now. Last year we were able to give $70,000 to two food pantries. Right now, we’re $1,000 ahead and still hoping some donations will come in after the fact.”
Landrum admitted she isn’t good at counting crowds but believed there was a strong and steady crowd throughout the event that began at 9 a.m. and ran until 1 p.m. Saturday.
“I felt that it was a good crowd right until the very end,” she said. “The bidding was going so well on the silent auction that [husband Mit Landrum] had to go home and print out more bid sheets.
When asked what she considered one of the high points of this year’s bake sale, Landrum mentioned a new booth that featured treats with a healthy twist. Julie Powers and Dawn Fuemmeler of “Prevention Parkland,” along with several group members, sponsored the booth called “Healthier Holiday Treats.”
“They did really well,” Landrum said. “I think it was a great idea for them to offer treats that people with certain dietary needs could eat without having to worry what items might be in them.”
Landrum said she finds it interesting how everything always seems to work out perfectly in the end.
“We’re always concerned about having enough baked goods — having enough of everything,” she said. “Enough for the silent auction — for all the things that we do. Whatever we get always seems to be the right amount for the people that are there. It’s just like a God-thing.
“An interesting thing happened at the live auction. Every year there’s always people there who are extremely generous and buy a lot of auction items. This year was no exception. There was a man in the crowd and he was just buying item after item and I had two or three people come up to me and ask, ‘Who is that man?’ None of us knew who he was. I have no idea, but all I can tell you is that God brought him here.”
Landrum said that’s the kind of thing that has happened every year at the Help the Hungry Bake Sale and she expects it to continue next year when the popular event returns for its 14th year.
“We’ll take a break through the holidays and then the first of January we always get together and talk about any changes we want to make. Believe it or not, we’re always tweaking and trying to do better.
“We are adding something on March 2 that we haven’t done before. We’re going to be partnering with the Mineral Area College Food Pantry in hosting a Vendor Blender. It will take place on a Saturday morning and it’s going to be primarily a women’s function and we’re going to have it at the Memorial United Methodist Church.
“We’re hoping through the event we’re going to be able to raise some money for the MAC Food Pantry.”
“We’re a little bit over where we were last year — we’re at $71,000 right now.” — Chris Landrum, Help the Hungry Bake Sale organizer
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or email@example.com