PORTAGE | On Monday, March 25, 2013, the St. Peter Lutheran Church youth group, S.P.Y. (St. Peter Youth) helped the Portage Food Pantry stock its shelves by asking for donations at Al's Supermarket on Rt. 6 and McCool Road. Youth Leaders, Ray and Amy VanderLugt and their son Kyle, daughter Kyrie, and friend Abbey Dougherty were there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. collecting food with volunteers from the Pantry.
Pantry President Judy Mollway reports they collected $175.75 and about 300 pounds of food, added to the 200 pounds dropped off from an earlier church/Youth collection.
This was quite an act of service since the young people gave up five hours of the first day of their coveted spring break. They passed out flyers as patrons entered the store, explaining the project and offering suggestions for the Food Pantry’s “Wish List.”
Pantry members Mollway, Kathy Mendoza and Pat Peters spent most of their day helping encourage people and organizing the food that came in.
“This group has done a wonderful job,” Mendoza said, as she sorted items into sturdy boxes to transport to the Pantry.
“The need is so great,” Amy VanderLugt said. “The Pantry is seeing an increase in people needing assistance. Our youth group helped with the 500 Turkeys Project hosted by Life Bridge Community Church this past November, and their eyes were opened to the need in the community. Our church has donated between 450 and 500 pounds of food and other items this month alone.
“We are so grateful to Al's Supermarket. They are fantastic! Store manager Rick Salat was so welcoming and helpful.”
Salat said "We try to help the community as much as possible. There is such a big need in the community, and we are glad we can help the pantry with donations every week. We help with baked goods and produce all the time. This group (the St. Peter Youth Group) has done a very nice job, too."
The Portage Food Pantry is located at 5391 Central Avenue in the former Portage Adult Education Building. For more information, go to http://www.portage-food-pantry.org.
St. Peter Lutheran Church is located at 6540 Central Avenue, Portage. For information about the church and its mission, please call 762-2673 or go to http://stpeterportage.com