Letter to the Editor: The importance of community in Waukon Community Meals

To the Editor:

Initially, I want to express appreciation to all of you who have provided food, service or any type of donation to the Waukon Community Meals. Your generosity has enabled the monthly meals to keep on growing.

Personally, I continue to be blown away by the response from the community. What began as a reaction to the level of free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches served at the public school has translated into a true opportunity to grow us as a community.

Because we are such a small community, the core committee decided early on that we would not put out any donation baskets or ask for any proof of need. Anyone who is hungry is welcome to come on in. Being low income, temporarily strapped for money, or laid off is stressful enough. Our committee wanted and still wants everyone, rich, poor or in between, to come together to enjoy a meal.

Beyond monetary poverty in our midst, I have seen social poverty as well. Social poverty can be debilitating in its own way. A free meal with no strings attached can be a blessing. People can call a friend or neighbor to make plans to meet for a meal free from any worry or embarrassment.

We continue to need groups to sponsor a meal. We certainly encourage two or more groups to pool resources if need be. Need more boots on the ground? Don’t rule out young help from church youth groups, Scouts, 4-H clubs and school groups. Free food provides a wonderful lure for hungry students.

Because of generous community donations, the Core Committee can currently offer up to $500 to help defray expenses with sponsoring a meal. The Community Meals continues to provide the paper products and coffee. The Allamakee County Dairy Board has generously continued to provide milk and/or ice cream. Advice about sponsoring a meal is always free from any Core Committee member.

Despite a few glitches and miscalculations, Waukon Community Meals continues to roll along. If you belong to an organization or church that has never sponsored a meal, now would be a great time to give it a try. If you haven’t sponsored a meal for some time, now would be a wonderful opportunity to try it again.

Karen Carlton
Core Committee Chair
Waukon Community Meals

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