Saturday, June 26, 2010

Interfaith Partnership helping fight hunger

Members of different faith groups joined forces to feed the hungry in St. Charles County.

The Interfaith Partnership on June 19 collected 1,377 nonperishable food items for the FISH of St. Charles County food pantry in St. Peters. They also collected $740 that the Hunger Task Force will use to buy perishable food for pantries throughout the county.

"We can't donate a dozen eggs, but we can donate money to buy them," said Ann Miller, Interfaith Partnership chairwoman.

FISH provided a van to transport the food and buckets to carry the cash collected by 19 Interfaith Partnership members who spent four hours seeking donations at the Mobil service station on Jungermann Road in St. Peters. The station closed two pumps to accommodate the food drive, Miller said.

This is the sixth year for the Interfaith Partnership's annual food drive. Miller said the volunteers saw a good response, but donations were down from last year's total of 2,300 food items and $1,000 cash.

Miller said the heat might have played a factor. The St. Peters Olde Tyme Picnic ran simultaneously, and could have drawn people away from the location, she said.

Miller said donors might be saving their food for another upcoming drive, the Saturday Jubilee on July 31. More than 600 volunteers will collect nonperishable food outside grocery stores and deliver it to the Operation Food Search warehouse in Wentzville for distribution to pantries throughout St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties.

"It all goes to the same cause, so that is fine," Miller said.

The Interfaith Partnership is a nonprofit organization that includes members of different faith groups, including Christians, Jews and Muslims. It meets monthly and seeks to promote respect and understanding through dialogue and community events.