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The Help the Hungry Bake Sale means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s a good opportunity to pick up delicious treats just in time for Thanksgiving celebrations while making a difference in the community.

For many, it’s a way to share of their time, talents and passions while helping others.

Now in its 13th year, 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 Farmington Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent de Paul food pantries from proceeds of the bake sale, sponsorships and fundraising events.

There is a new booth featured at this year’s bake sale. In addition to the many pies, cakes, baked goods and breads offered, one group will have a table featuring delicious delectable treats with a healthy twist.

Julie Powers and Dawn Fuemmeler belong to a group called “Prevention Parkland” and, along with the members of the group, have a booth called “Healthier Holiday Treats” at this year’s bake sale.

“There are so many people now that have one (food ingredient) or another that they try to avoid,” Fuemmeler said. “I felt like being a part of our Healthy Living Revolution group (with what) we do … we promote to the community (healthy) eating and disease prevention (and that their booth should reflect as such.)"

The two said they wanted to give their support to the cause of the Help the Hungry Bake Sale and to give an option for those who may be looking for another option this holiday season.

Fuemmeler said those looking for such items would want to make sure to get to the bake sale early – as she believes the items will sell out with this being the first year for their table.

“I think we’ll sell out quickly, just because we don’t have that many people donating,” she said. “But, it will be a thing to build on.”

And, the two said the booth is the perfect opportunity for those hosting family who have special dietary needs or a specific diet choice.

“Maybe this isn’t your choice, but you have family coming in that is a little more conscientious about the healthy choices that they’re making,” Powers said. “Maybe this is something you want to take home for the holidays. That’s great.”

All the items at the booth will have the specific ingredients listed. And, both said due to the costs of the ingredients needed, prices at their booth may be higher than the others.

“It might be maple syrup,” Powers said, “or honey, or might have organic agave. It’s going to be different kinds of things.”

"We are excited every year to see what people will do for the bake sale," said organizer Chris Landrum. "This year is no exception ... we have a healthy treats booth this year that came out of a need of some of our community members with dietary restrictions. This has become a passion of theirs and we’re glad they are using it to add to the day.

"We have always tried to be as inclusive as we can be so as many who wish can participate. We get excited to see how people will use their personal and business resources to contribute to the bake sale and this year’s sale looks to be the best yet!"

Another part of the bake sale is the holiday decoration raffle. Beautiful wreaths and Christmas decorations are donated by individuals each year.

For this year’s sale, a group of friends gathered one afternoon for a day of friendship and crafting.

Althea Burke, Highley Griffin, Jessica Dietrich and Jenny Williams met in the conference room of First Baptist Church of Farmington on Nov. 9.

Covering the table were a variety of items for making wreaths to be raffled during the Help the Hungry Bake Sale.

Griffin said the group of friends enjoy getting together to enjoy coffee and visiting with each other – each taking one month to host the group at their home.

Burke said the common thread among the group is creativity and community involvement. She said it was a “spontaneous ask” of the other members in the group about creating wreaths for the bake sale.

“Literally, within a minute, all six of us were like, ‘yes, yes, yes. Count me in,'” she said. “I think that was the easiest ‘yes’ … it’s a reflection of our community and how we are. We want to give and we want to help.”

Those attending the bake sale have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to place in a basket near each wreath. At the end of the day, the winning tickets will be drawn from each basket – giving the opportunity to decorate one’s home with a new festive adornment while helping out at the same time.

In addition to the wreath raffle at the bake sale are the live auction, silent auction and the popular “Cookin’ Clergy” event. The café opens at 8 a.m. for breakfast, with the doors to the bake sale opening at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic School gymnasium, located at 501 Ste. Genevieve Ave.

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Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or srobinson@farmingtonpressonline.com

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Farmington Press Managing Editor

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