A dinner held in honor of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale Committee by the Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent de Paul food pantries provided an opportunity for both charities to say “thank you” to the group that has, for the last 17 years, raised a large percentage of their annual budgets.
The event was held Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Farmington Country Club.
The evening began with Farmington Mayor Larry Forsythe presenting committee chairperson Chris Landrum with a proclamation from the city in recognition of the positive impact that she and the committee’s efforts has had on the community.
Forsythe read the proclamation, saying, “Whereas the Help the Hungry Bake Sale is an annual event held in Farmington, Missouri, to raise money for two local food pantries, the Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and the St. Vincent’s DePaul Food Pantry; and whereas the Help the Hungry Bake Sale first began in November 2005 through the inspiration and dedication of Chris Lander, who has passionately led the Health the Hungry Bake Sale organization since its inception; whereas the Help the Hungry Bake Sale has raised and donated a commutative total of $1 million in the last 17 years;
“Whereas through the efforts of Chris Landrum and the Help the Hungry Bake Sale committee, a countless number of families in the Farmington region have been served through donations to the food pantries; and whereas Chris Landrum should be recognized and commended for her devotion and dedication to the Help the Hungry Bake Sale, now, therefore, I, Larry D. Forsythe, mayor of the city of Farmington, do hereby issue this proclamation in honor of Chris Landrum for her inspiration and dedication in bettering the lives of her fellow citizens through the leadership of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale. In witness thereof, I do set my hand and cause the seal of the city of Farmington affixed on his 23rd day of February 2023.”
Responding to the proclamation, Landrum said, “Thank you so much. Thank you, ladies. And you know, I truly, truly appreciate this from all of you, but you know this wouldn’t be possible if you all were right there with me the whole way. You all were a team. But thank you so much. much. This is an honor for me, but it’s also an honor for our whole team.”
Addressing the committee, Agnes Hinkebein, director of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, said, “First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for all the meetings you go to, all the preps you do, all the cleanup you do, and of course the baking. Without you as a team, we could not serve our people as well as we do.
“This last year, we served 8,641 individuals. So you put a smile on a lot of people. And if you ever want to see that smile, come to the pantry. I will gladly let you stand there and observe or help, that was my help, but to see how the gratitude that’s in their heart. I’m so proud to be part of this community because what other community would do all this? So thank you so much.”
Greg Robinson, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Farmington and president of the Farm Minister Alliance, said, “Thank you for allowing me to come. Actually, the one you should be hearing from is [Nancy Faulkner, director of the Farmington Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry] who does all the hard work. But the deal that she and I have made is that she does the work and I do the speaking — and that’s not a fair deal, for you at least — but I’m privileged to come and just say a word of thanks. Being able to do a dinner tonight and help provide this for you, is just a small token of our appreciation. The Farmington Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry has been in existence for 40 years. And when we say it started as a food pantry, it was that, a closet, a pantry at a local church, giving away to just a few people.
“In just the past 10 years only, there have been over 60,000 individuals who received food and 1.7 million pounds of food that have been given away. And I’m going to tell you, that’s just in 10 years, and you’ve been providing funds for that for longer than that period of time. There is no way we could have done what has been done in these past years without the bake sale. Just looking at our budget and our finances, the money that has been raised by the bake sale has gone to cover the vast majority of food expense that we’ve had in recent years — the vast majority of it. And then it has allowed us to do other things. as you know, organization’s growing and now we’ve been gifted a new building and all these great things are happening with the Ministerial Alliance, but those wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t already in place by receiving the funds and support from the organization. It just wouldn’t have been possible.”
Robinson recalled that it has been 17 years since Landrum came up with the idea of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale.
“’Oh, we can do a little thing,’ and look what it’s turned into,” he said. “Who would have thought a million dollars, right? And we experienced the same thing at the Ministerial Alliance. When it started as a food pantry, a closet, we would never have thought that now we would be in a huge building and serving thousands upon thousands of people every year. And so I encourage you, just as we do in our organization, I encourage you, continue to dream big, pray big, because God can do more than we can imagine. So thank you for all the effort you’ve put into this.
“I enjoyed every year getting to be a part of the cooking clergy contest and have fun there for our ‘rigged’ auction that we have. And it doesn’t hurt that First Baptist has won that the last three years, so that’s okay too. But we have a good time, and just seeing the results out of that, so thank you, and again, as you enjoy your dinner, I hope that you know in just, in a small way, how much we appreciate you. I just love the work you’re doing, and the dream that God has put upon your heart, and that he has grown and blessed it.”
“There is no way we could have done what has been done in these past years without the bake sale.” Greg Robinson, pastor, First Baptist Church
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-783-9667 or firstname.lastname@example.org