Four seniors at Lakeland Christian Academy are working together to plan a food drive that is ultimately one of the largest collections held for Warsaw- based Combined Community Services.
This is the fifth year students of LCA will be collecting food for CCS. “Last year we collected food valued at over $30,000,” said Carmen Flores, food drive coordinator and LCA’s dean of students.
On Monday, LCA students will be leaving a total of 3,600 grocery bags on door steps in a number of Warsaw and Winona Lake area neighborhoods. On Wednesday morning, they will go back to collect those bags that residents are being asked to fill with nonperishable grocery items.
“What I appreciate most about CCS is that they look to supply needs physically and spiritually and help people long- term with programs that help them get ahead,” said LCA senior Ali Slabaugh. “It’s not just a handout.”
Slabaugh, along with Emily Daniels, Johanna Bramlett and Brandon Wildman are organizing the food collections for next Wednesday. With the help of Flores, they have also secured the use of delivery trucks from Reinholt’s Town Square Furniture, Brouwer’s Furniture, Wildman Builders, Allowing Christ To Shine ministry and J.B.’s Furniture that will be used to collect all of the donations and deliver them to CCS.
Peggi Lisenbee-Wright is CCS’s director of emergency assistance and said, “Hunger and lack of access to nutritional food is growing at an alarming rate across our country. CCS’s emergency assistance program has been struggling to meet the ever growing need for food. Our food pantry staff has commented several times in the past few weeks how grateful we are that it’s almost time for the LCA food drive.”
On Monday afternoon, April 22, LCA students, faculty and staff will be leaving paper grocery bags, each with a bright pink flier attached. The flier is an informational source so residents know what the cause is for and asks that the bags be filled with items such as macaroni and cheese, pancake mix, cereal, cans of meat, pasta and other nonperishable items. The bags should then be left outside at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, when the students will be back around to collect the donations.
Emily Daniels said she looks forward to helping CCS with the food drive each year noting, “I feel like I have a strong connection with CCS” through the community service program offered at LCA. Daniels is among those students organizing the food drive who also volunteers weekly at CCS.
“They are always in need of supplies and I feel like it’s an ongoing need that we can get involved with and help people around us in a big way,” Daniels added.
CCS Executive Director Steve Possell noted of the LCA food drive, “This is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for CCS, especially for food, and with the new client choice food pantry we are seeing even more clients.”
Last month, CCS introduced the client choice food pantry which offers clients healthier choices and the opportunity to utilize the food pantry more like a grocery store.
Once the donations are collected on Wednesday, the students, faculty and staff will then transport it all to CCS where they will sort and box up the donations.
Bags will be left at homes in the following neighborhoods on Monday:
- West side – Lakewood Hills Condos, Melody Acres, PondORosa, Windmill West, Atlantis and Shull Addition
- Southwest side – Shady Crest, Briarwood Manor, Summerfield/Blackberry, The Meadows, Deerwood Park, Walnut Creek, Brookshire, Goose Lake Highlands and Woodland
- Warsaw south – Herscher Addition, Eisenhower Park, Pheasant Ridge, Park Ridge, Eagle Crest, Country Club Addition, Flagstone Terrace, Woodfield Estates and Southwood Addition
- Warsaw/Winona Lake south – Southbrook Park, Woodfield Manor, Country Garden Estates, Southtown, Wooded Hills, Cherry Creek Manor, Autumn Ridge, Stonehenge, Heritage Lake Park and Lexington Manor
- East side – Willies Eastridge, Hunters Ridge, Five Oaks, Shadow Lakes Estates, Indian Village, Harrison Landing, Deeds Creek and Deeds Creek Manor, Hickory Estates, Timberline, Timber Ridge Estates, Patterson Place, Silver Fox Ridge, Lincoln Park and Paths of Deerfield
- North side – Rolling Hills, Northwest Woods, River Lawn, Valley Springs, The Dells, Fox Run, Barrington Hills, Old Farm Addition, North Winds, The Pines, Hawthorne Addition and Lake Forest
- Winona Lake – Grace Village area, Wooster Road area, town of Winona Lake and Fairlane
Suggested food items that the students will collect each week include: macaroni and cheese, pancake mix, syrup, sugar-free syrup, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, Pop Tarts, tuna and other canned meats, canned vegetables and low sodium vegetables, soups and light soups, gluten free items, dry or canned beans, rice, snacks (like chips, cookies, snack cakes), pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned potatoes, Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper meals, oatmeal and juices.
As an added service, LCA students will also pick up coat donations during the food drive.
For more information, call LCA at 574-267-7265.