Emerging ministries funds from the Conference Connectional Ministries Council have supported the start of a new summer lunch program in Oskaloosa.
Martha Comfort, a member of Central United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa, was studying Justice for the Poor, a book by Jim Wallis, with her Christ Connection Sunday school class a year ago last spring. By October she and other class members “had this nagging feeling that we were supposed to do something about hunger in our community.”
She began making connections with other organizations in town and discovered that the United Way wanted to start a summer feeding program for children. This summer they are serving an average of 100 children per day at three sites. “Our community has really stepped up to help with volunteering.” The high school, the public library, and First Christian Reformed Church are among many organizations and more than 130 volunteers who have joined the effort.
Joey’s story is an example of how this new ministry continues to expand and grow. The very undernourished little boy came to a meal site on the very first day. He struggled to eat the ham and cheese sandwich he was given, so he was offered yogurt instead. Working with his family, connections are being made to provide him with the dental care Joey so desperately needs.