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Those needing food for holiday on rise

Sherry Popp of St. Paul Lutheran Church fills out a registration form for a family to participate in the church’s Christmas with Dignity program. The program gives away food baskets to individuals and families in the area.



Sherry Popp saw the need firsthand Monday morning as she was registering families for St. Paul Church’s Christmas food baskets.

“We started at 10 and within the first hour we have taken 160 names,” Popp said.

That is almost one-third of the 600 baskets that the church plans to give out on Dec. 10 for its Christmas with Dignity program.

“It shows the need,” Popp, the program’s organizer, said.

The event is a collaborative effort between St. Paul’s and All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington. The two congregations team up to provide frozen food boxes with the Lutheran Social Services mobile food pantry providing bread, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Monday was the first day for the church to register individuals for the food. Registration will continue today from 4 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Frozen food boxes will contain fruit and vegetables, hamburger, pork chops, pies, chicken, canned vegetables and sweet and instant potatoes. It is enough to feed a family of four for four or five days.

There is no proof of income required, only identification that they live in one of the four counties the program supports — Lawrence and Scioto counties in Ohio and Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky.

Popp said she is seeing more older clients and those with families asking for help.

That parallels the response the church sees twice a month from the mobile food pantry that comes down from Lancaster. It is set up to help 150 families and could supply more if the food were available.

Recently the church sent out letters to local businesses asking for help to purchase food for the baskets.

“We are hopeful they will be generous,” Popp said.

Christmas with Dignity will be Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church.