Letter to the Editor: Misconceptions about Community Meals

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention that there are some misconceptions regarding the Waukon Community Meals that I would like to address.  First, please understand that up to this point, Waukon Community Meals providers have completely financed the meals they have provided.  We did not start with any grant money, but just began with an idea. Waukon Economic Development has graciously taken us under their wing for a year so we are able to tell any donors that we have non-profit status.  That, of course, allows donations to be claimed as tax write-offs. In February, we will begin the expensive and lengthy process of becoming our own non-profit. We have begun raising funds in order to pay for the costs of becoming a non-profit and hopefully, down the road,  we will be able to financially assist groups who are providing the monthly meals. We would also like to eventually provide transportation from the north and south ends of town. Our goal is to have any formal fundraising occur just once a year with donors’ names appearing on locally produced place-mats we will use for that year. So far, businesses, groups and individuals have responded most generously and we are very grateful. 

Secondly, the meals are truly for all members of the community, no matter who they are. We are in the business of building up our community and that includes all types of folks. We don’t ask to see any identification, no one is asked to sign anything or provide any address. We don’t care if attendees live in the city limits or not. We just want people to come together and enjoy a meal in a warm and inviting place. 

Third, we will do our darndest to have the meals the last Monday of each month in spite of weather.  Unless our local police advise us otherwise, we will be serving a meal. If for some serious reason we are forced to cancel, we will get it on KNEI as soon as possible. 

Fourth, if you have food of some sort you wish to donate, please contact one of the core committee members and we will find a way to use it right away or find an appropriate place to store it until we can use it. Core Committee members are Father James Dubert, Pastor Sam Houser, Pastor Grant VanderVelden, Pastor Kim Gates, Steve and Robin Oden, Laureen Henningsgaard, Pat and Donna  Bresnahan, Lawrence and Marsha Benda, Karen Carlton and many others who have stepped in to give us lift.  And speaking of the Core Committee, come and see us in action as we provide the December 29th meal with some very generous help from Hardee’s and WW Homestead Dairy. 

This sort of thing does not happen without tremendous support and I want to publicly thank those members of the Core Committee who bought into this idea and who have been with this endeavor from the beginning. Personally, I have been totally blown away with the response and support the Waukon Community Meals has generated and feel blessed to be able to be a part of it.

Karen Carlton