Kids Do the Work of Angels at County Food Bank
"Our kids are amazing," says Barc Seibly, Clarkston (Wash.) Good News Fellowship member, whenever he speaks of the help provided by Beacon Christian School (Lewiston, Idaho) students to the Asotin County Food Bank in Clarkston.
Seibly and Vern Dimke, Good News Fellowship members, began helping the local food bank in 2002 when they brought together potato farmers' crops to meet the poorer citizens' needs. The donated potatoes had to be stored in an outdoor shed, which resulted in frozen and inedible potatoes in 2007. The Dimkes began looking for a solution and finally decided in 2009 the building had to be torn down and replaced with a much larger structure.
When Dimke became unable to help, Seibly took up the slack. Before he knew it, people from all over the county began coming "out of the woodwork" to help. Miraculously, the new building was completed in early 2010 with only donated money, labor and material (an estimated value of more than $230,000).
The food bank, which also serves as a clearinghouse for grocery stores' overstock and perishables, runs a lunch backpack program. This gives children of low-income households two breakfasts and lunches, bagged for each weekend throughout the school year. The food bank helped 5,103 families in 2011, while the clearinghouse accommodated 3,587 families and the lunch backpack program provided 26,362 meals during the school year.
When the food bank began the lunch backpack program, Seibly wasn't sure how the volunteers could get everything bagged while still attending to the food bank’s needs. It seemed no one could help within the time allotted. Then, as if sent by angels, in came students from the local Adventist school. And they continue to come regularly to help prepare the backpacks as well as to help unload the 10,000–20,000 pounds of food that comes by freight truck.
Like Seibly says, "Our kids are amazing."