Church’s pantry & Food For Families programs continue

IMLAY CITY — While St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is now closed in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocol, the church’s Food For Families programs continue to operate.

Food For Families Coordinator Wes Davis said St. Paul’s weekly food pantry and “Meals to Go” programs are now taking place on Mondays from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

The Meals to Go program is a temporary substitute for the church’s soup kitchen, which before the pandemic, had taken place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5:30 p.m.

Wes Davis (right), St. Paul’s ‘Food For Families’ coordinator, right, welcomes donor Russ Underwood, who drops off several dozen fresh eggs for the church’s twice-weekly food pantry and meal giveaway.


“We used to serve 45-50 meals a week,” said Davis, “which compares to about 30-35 for the takeout meals. Those numbers could increase once word gets out that the meals are available again.”

Davis credited volunteers Cynthia Stroebel and Dee Greenwald for spending time in the church’s kitchen on Sundays, preparing healthy and wholesome meals for distribution on Mondays.

What’s on menu?

A recently prepared “meal-to-go” included pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries and pickles.

Stroebel said this Monday’s meal featured meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, grapes, a roll and butter.

“These meals are very important to our clients,” said Stroebel. “Not only for those people in need, but for our local seniors who rely on them for nourishment.

“A lot of senior citizens are no longer able to cook and prepare healthy meals for themselves,” she continued. “The soup kitchen was also a place they could come for social interaction, which they also need.”

Wes Davis said St. Paul’s Food For Families program has recently been the beneficiary of grant funds from the Lapeer County Community Foundation ($4,600) and Four County Community Foundation ($1,000).

“The support from these local foundations is very helpful,” said Davis. “The extra funds have allowed us to
help more people at a time when the need is great.”

Davis said he has been impressed with the public’s generosity and overall response to the pandemic.

“People are coming together and doing good things to help each other,” said Davis. “I’m seeing a lot of compassion, kindness and generosity coming out of this pandemic.”

That includes, he added, all forms of donations being made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and its Food For Families program.

Anyone wishing to donate may send a check to Food For Families, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 200 N. Cedar St., Imlay City, MI 48444.

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Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.