CCUM provides 30 Thanksgiving baskets
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
Thirty Crawford County families enjoyed a Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings, thanks to an outreach through the Crawford County United Ministries.
The boxes were distributed Nov. 20 at Hillview Christian Church, off S.R. 64 outside of Marengo.
Laura and Tom Zipp handed out the boxes in a drive-thru fashion in keeping with COVID-19 safety standards.
COVID also impacted how the boxes were put together. Laura Zipp said just four volunteers handled the task this year when typically about 10 volunteers tackle the job.
The Thanksgiving food basket program started about eight years ago when Zipp approached Deb Rickenbaugh, then-pastor of Marengo United Methodist Church. Zipp proposed that all the churches that donate to the CCUM food pantry in Leavenworth come together for the Thanksgiving meal boxes.
“I thought it would be a good ecumenical project,” she said.
Rickenbaugh quickly jumped on board, offering her church as the host site. Zipp agreed to lead the effort.
Marengo UMC was unable to host the pick-up this year due to COVID-19. The church also hosts an after-school program for students and, therefore, was unable to have additional people in the basement.
Zipp said she was grateful for Hillview’s willingness to lend space, noting the awning was nice on the drizzly day food was distributed.
Each year, the participating churches take turns donating different items to fill the boxes. The boxes are stuffed to overflowing with instant potatoes, canned vegetables and fruit, stuffing mix, gravy, cranberries, macaroni and cheese, rolls, canned sweet potatoes, marshmallows, eggs, margarine, salad and dressing, cake mixes and icing, soft drink mix, tea bags, brown sugar, pumpkin pies, whipped topping and, of course, a turkey.
Zipp said she likes the project because it brings churches together.
“If we all concentrate on how we’re alike, we’re not that different,” she said.
Other participating churches are Marengo Christian, Marengo Wesleyan, Little Mission, Milltown UMC, Milltown Christian, Rock Springs Community, Wickliffe UMC, Alton Baptist, Eckerty Christian, Fairview Baptist, Community Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lincoln Hills UMC, Leavenworth Presbyterian, Tower Full Gospel, Taswell Christian, Pilot Knob/Crawford Consolidated UMC, Church of God, English Wesleyan, St. Joseph Catholic and Church of Christ.
Zipp said each church submits the name of a family to receive a food box. If additional names are needed, as was the case this year, CCUM works with Crawford Community School Corp. to find recipients.
Zipp is also the volunteer leader of the food pantry. She said COVID-19 has had a big impact on local families, many of whom have struggled to make ends meet.
When the pandemic hit, the food pantry became more busy. Numbers decreased a bit when some of those who lost their jobs were able to collect the additional $600 per week provided by the federal government.
The stimulus, however, is coming to an end. That, coupled with holiday expenses, will almost certainly mean an increase in patrons, believes Zipp.
“You have to prioritize what your money goes for – food or toys for Christmas,” she said. “It’s hard around the holidays.”
The CCUM Food Pantry, located in the community building in Leavenworth, distributes food on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.