Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
A ‘heartwarming’ Hands Against Hunger event

Dec. 15, 2008

For the Dec. 7 event, about 2,500 pounds of food was donated

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

COKATO, MN - Sidewalks were lined with people Dec. 7 from Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church to the Cokato Area Food Shelf for the first-ever Hands Against Hunger event.

About 180 people came together, including members of both Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church and Elim Mission Church, along with members of the community, for the passing food shelf donations down the line in support for those in need.

Carol Semke, the project’s leader, was unsure at first if there would be enough people to make the two-and-a-half-block stretch, “but it all came together,” she said.

“People had a lot of fun and weren’t thinking about the cold,” Semke said.

Due to the weather and the amount of food donated – about 2,500 pounds – only a “symbolic” portion was passed down the line.

Irvin, who also participated in the human chain, said the event was “very emotional” and “heart-warming.”

“[The food shelf] has been such a community effort,” Irvin said.

For the annual Christmas baskets, the food shelf is expecting to pack for about 55 to 60 families this year. that is 15 to 20 more than last year’s total of 40 baskets, according to Irvin.

On average, the food shelf has been serving between 10 and 15 families which has increased from last year which was between six and eight families each week.

Semke and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato’s social ministry committee is planning to have the event again next year, though closer to Thanksgiving.

The remainder of the donations which were not passed – about a truckload – was brought to the food shelf. Because of the number of volunteers, unloading the truck took less than two minutes, according to Semke.

Then, Pastor Steve Thorson blessed the food and participants met in the Cokato Evangelical Church basement for soup and chili, which was also a success, Semke said.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said.


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