Fifty Days of Caring collects food

The Lord’s Cupboard food pantry will get a midsummer boost from the First Congregational United Church of Christ in the coming weeks.

The church will complete its “50 Days of Caring” food drive on May 26 and donate more than 1,000 items to the emergency pantry.

“There are 50 days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, and the idea is for everyone who comes to church to bring in an item per day on all 50 of those days,” said the Rev. Joey Feldmann, who is in his first year pastoring the church.

His congregation followed through, he said, with most of them bringing in seven items every Sunday.

“We’ve got a really good pile back there, behind the altar. I haven’t counted them yet,” Feldmann said. “I expect there’s more than 1,000 items collected.

“I had heard at pastors’ luncheon here in town that the Lord’s Cupboard was really sort of struggling, and had just barely enough food to meet the need. I thought we should respond to that as a congregation,” he said.

Pentecost is on Sunday, he said, but the church will give the members extra time in case they missed a week.

“We have a huge need for food drives the end of May through October,” said Suzanne Schwendemann, Lord’s Cupboard director.

“Donations tend to come in the fall during the holiday season, but our busiest time is usually July,” she said. “We have a huge increase in need when the kids get out of school. Kids are home, and have to eat three meals a day at home. And we don’t get as many big donations, so it’s wonderful timing.

“We go through 2,000 donated items or more about every six weeks, so it would be awesome if we had a food drive every month. If anyone’s looking for a summer project, June, July, August would be great to follow up.”

The Lord’s Cupboard is an emergency pantry, where clients can only come in up to five times in a year. The pantry averages 60 to 100 people a week. For more information or to set up a food drive, contact Schwendemann at 576-7586 or