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1.5 tons of food collected by Christ the Redeemer during May food drive
Food drive 1
(left to right) Kyle Smith, Gwen Webb, Knights of Columbus Program Director Bill Webb, Michelle Smith and Blake Smith. - photo by Photo submitted

During the month of May, Christ the Redeemer Church in Dawson County hosted a food drive that raised 1.5 tons of food and $2500 in donations to benefit RIC-Rack Food Bank. 

food drive 2
(left to right) Michael Garcia, son and Webelos Scout Michael Garcia, and RIC-Rack General Manager Angela McKinzie. - photo by Photo submitted

Marv Englert, a member of Christ the Redeemer Church’s Knights of Columbus, explained that the drive was in response to the food bank’s increased need for donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The week before, I coordinated with RIC-Rack to confirm what items they needed and then we put it out on Facebook, the website, church bulletins, and weekly church emails,” Englert said. “So that way even though the church wasn’t meeting at the time, we still got the word out to all the parishioners.”

According to Englert, the community jumped at the chance to help collect food, with both church members and friends of the church contributing to the effort. 

“One example was a neighborhood that all collected food together and gave it to one of our parishioners who lived there so he could bring it in,” Englert said. “So the community at large really did support this.”

While the church had done food drives before, this was the first time the Knights of Columbus had organized one, but Englert said that they found a way to make the drive work, despite social distancing restrictions and RIC-Rack’s limited hours during the pandemic. 

“We had six collection bins across from our grotto and told people where it was, so they would deliver the food whenever was convenient for them and then every day someone would go take the food out and put it in the shed,” Englert said. “RIC-Rack was only open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so on those mornings I’d go get the food from the shed, deliver it to RIC-Rack and that was how we organized it.” 

Englert had assistance in delivering the food, including from local cub scouts. 

“Christ the Redeemer charters Cub Scout Pack 233 and they supported the food drive,” Englert said. “I’m also a Cub Master, and I got one of my cub scout families to help me one day delivering the food.”

The original goal for the food drive was one ton of food, but Englert said that they adjusted their goal as donations came in.

“Once we crossed that line of one ton, we upped to goal to one and a half tons and we made it,” Englert said. “So that goal changed over time.” 

The final result was 3,016 pounds of food and $2500 donations for the food bank.