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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Childress Elks Lodge No. 1113 donated $2,000 to the Food4U Food Pantry of Childress.
“We were honored to be able to give a $2,000 check to the Food4U Food Pantry,” Susan Leary, Childress Elks Lodge member, said. “Through the Spotlight Grant, our Lodge will help ensure the food pantry meets the needs of Childress residents.”
The Elks National Foundation released $3.7 million for the Spotlight Grants, according to the foundation’s website. These $2,000 grants were available to every lodge to shine the light on COVID-19 relief. Lodges had the option of purchasing food and supplies for a shelter or food pantry or donating directly to an organization in the community that is better equipped to serve populations in need affected by the pandemic. The funds had to directly support pandemic relief.
“Thank you, Food4U Food Pantry, for what you do in our community,” Leary said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Food4U Food Pantry Director Sandy Koepke said they have fed more families. This includes those who haven’t been working as well as those with COVID-19 who are in quarantine.
“This donation will buy lots and lots of food,” Koepke said. “We have lots of shut-ins (who have COVID-19). They have no way to get out and don’t have family close by.”
In addition to the Elks’ donation, Koepke said FEMA has donated thousands of dollars worth of food to the High Plains Food Bank, which has significantly benefited the Food4U Food Pantry. She also is thankful the New4U Thrift Store has opened its doors, allowing them to purchase what they need.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also made a semi-truckload of food donation to Catholic Charities Interfaith Hunger Project and the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo, which benefited the Food4U Food Pantry, according to a release from the Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle.
“The food pantry here in Childress has been really blessed,” said Koepke, who accepted the check from the Childress Elks Lodge with New4U Thrift Store board members Vicki Harper, Althea Driver and Karen Gillenwater. Childress Elks Lodge members Oscar Garcia, Melissa Harper, Chad Baize, Kristy Hoover, Jerrel Woodson and Marilyn Benham were there for the presentation with Leary.