Big Changes for the Food Pantry

The Dundy County Commissioners met last week for a walk through of the new County building on the corner of Chief Street. County employees along with Dale Shilke from Engineering International as well as representatives from the Ministerial Alliance and food pantry enjoyed a nice tour.

The building will serve several purposes for the county. It will combine county offices located at several locations around town into one building, and it will move the Extension Office out of the Courthouse, allowing room for the Sherriff’s Office to expand across the hall and have more space for their staff. The Food Pantry will also be located in the new building and will have access through the back door.

After the meeting with the Commissioners the Ministerial Alliance reconvened their meeting at the Zion Lultheran Church. The pantry and the Back Pack Gang were discussed. The benevolent needs of the community have grown to a point that more management of the pantry is needed than the Ministerial Alliance felt they could provide. It was decided to set up a new non profit with a Board of Directors, to help maintain the Food Pantry and to provide oversight to the Back Pack Program. Currently the Back Pack Gang, a committee of Amy Frederick, Mary Deyle and Kacey Fries, over see the back pack program and the funds had been run through the Ministerial Alliance.

The Back Pack Program has been well received and partners with the school, teachers, and community members to make sure basic needs of children in our community are being met where extra assistance is needed. The Back Pack Program has tried to remain a low profile group so funding has came from generous donations of community members and the Hester and Hansen Foundation. The new non profit organization will oversee both the Food Pantry and the Back Pack Program.

The non profit will be run by a Board of Directors including, Lonne Stahlecker, Gary Clark, Susan Rolker, Pastor Laura Cherry, Heather Ramsey, Mary Deyle, and Amy Frederick. Attornies Gary Burke and Ashley Spahn are both working with the group to get the new non profit structure in place as quickly as possible.

The Food Pantry is also working with the Food Bank of the Heartland and has submitted an application to become a member, and this will provide many resources that will help the pantry continue to run smoothly. Once the new non profit structure has been put into place the Dundy County Attorney will be able to finish the paperwork for the pantry with the county so the pantry can be moved. The Baptist Youth Group is planning on assisting in the move.

Due to the rapid change that was needed in the organizational structure to make all of this happen the food pantry does need a little extra financial support right now to get the non profit structure set up. If you can help with a few bucks, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact any of the Board members with donations, or you can drop off at the Benkelman Post or the Bank. You can also leave donations at your church on Sunday.

The Ministerial Alliance will continue to be a supporter of the food pantry, just not the lead role. If you have questions about any of this, please call Amy at 340-4648. She will be glad to discuss and explain it further

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