Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, sent a letter of thanks to the LWML for supporting the Seminary Food Bank. Interim Food Bank Coordinator, Hannah Loum, writes, “As the Food Bank operates solely on donations, your contributions are vital to funding its two important objectives: providing essential budget relief to our students and ensuring that their nutritional needs are met.”
She continues, “The Food Bank — and the Seminary’s campus as a whole — has needed to operate differently since the coronavirus outbreak began this past March.”
“We quickly set up an alternate system of providing the Food Bank’s grocery items to our students. We provide students with an online form on which to make their selections from many nutrient-dense foods such as fresh meats, frozen fruits, and vegetables. They make their food choices and then pick up their groceries on a preset, staggered schedule. The distribution occurs in a large reception room to ensure ample social distancing.”
Loum shared that the students remain grateful for the Food Bank, but especially for the many generous individuals and groups who contribute to its support.
“I extend my biggest ‘thank you’ to all those who donate to the Food Bank,” says Brandon Bettcher, a second-year Master of Divinity student from Ray Township, Michigan. “You provide so much peace of mind to us as students so we can focus more fully on our studies and advancing the Gospel.”
The Food Co-op at Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne (CTSFW) also continues to serve the students who remain in the Fort Wayne area. Deaconess Katherine Rittner, Director of the Food & Clothing Co-op, shared that they pack boxes with canned and dry goods, and bags with donated pork, ground beef, fresh produce, milk, and laundry detergent. They also provide diapers and wipes for families with infants. The staff takes extra precautions when putting the orders together and loading them contract-free into the students’ vehicles.
"In addition, we put boxes together for the dorm students remaining on campus with fresh milk and fruit, meals, and snacks that they can keep in their rooms, as well as personal hygiene items as requested.”
Clothing needs are handled on an individual basis. All this ensures that the student families are fed and cared for during the pandemic restrictions. Deaconess Rittner stated, “As I see it, this is a big part of the mission statement of CTSFW to care for all, and one that we take very seriously."
In October 2020, participants of the virtual LWML Interdepartmental meeting supported the seminary food banks with monetary donations — $1,125 was sent to each, along with cards of encouragement for the students — as their Gifts from the Heart offerings.
For more information about the Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne Food Bank & Clothing Co-op, go to www.ctsfw.edu/support-ctsfw/give-for-today/co-op-donations/food-and-clothing-co-op/. For more information about the Concordia Seminary St. Louis Food Bank, go to www.csl.edu/campus-life/food-bank/.