Maggie Morlan headed up the local Food Share Program from June 2002 to December 2010 when the program ended. Morlan had been one of the volunteers that helped to hand out fruit and vegetables on distribution dates. She was asked to take over when Patsy Rader and Carolyn Girton resigned. Thanks to Maggie for her years of dedication to the program that benefited hundred of people.
Food Share continues to be an excellent program with various distribution sites across the nation. The nearest site at Peoria, Ill. was closed by the Catholic Diocese because they were not getting enough orders to keep going. This shut off the food supplies that came to Brazil. Morlan announced that the last distribution date would be in December 2010 and the volunteer group disbanded.
The Clay County Extension Office is trying to set up a local Share Food Program through Wisconsin or another distribution site. This would be more miles, and may mean the food would be a little higher in cost, but former participants would welcome their efforts. Costs, dates, needs, and volunteers have not been decided as yet. Melanie Brown will be the new coordinator and the 4-H Fairgound will be the new distribution site for local residents.
If you are interested, or just want more information, contact Melanie Brown at the Extension Office. Give her 2-3 weeks to finish getting it all organized. By then more of the program details may be finalized. She is currently waiting to hear back from the main office to find out how to go about picking up the food and setting up the distribution site. Nothing is finalized yet.
The program has had a little trouble getting patrons over the last few years. Some thought it was a program for the poor and wanted the food for free. It is inexpensive but not free. Some have thought that it was only for the poor and that they did not qualify. As Morlan said, "Anyone who eats qualifies for Food Share".
The Food Share Program is Christian people sharing their money and buying power to get good food at a reduced price. It is basic foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and frozen meats. It is more like a food co-op. You order and pay ahead.
The buyers buy only what is ordered. No waste, and buying in season, reduces the cost. Not having to have a store building and workers further reduces the cost. Buys were made only once a month. Thirty dollars would buy more food than a person could carry. Young volunteers helped with carryout to the person's vehicle.
Maggie Morlan wanted to thank all the volunteers for their efforts over the many years the Food Share Program was operated out of the First Christian Church. Active workers in the past couple of years have included Sheila Alg, Mary Egloff, Linda O'Neil, Denise and Zach Allender, Joan Rightsell, Clara Lou and Tommy Dale Thompson, Sam and Terry Riddell, Helen Meunier, Pam Bean and her family, Sharon Crawford with the help of Trevor, Connor, Devon, MacKenzie, and Drew Crawford. Meunier also sent notices to The Brazil Times.
Over the many years that Food Share was in operation, several folks worked for a period of time before conflicts or time forced them to retire. This included Mae Evans, Donald and Norma Nicoson, Betty Howard, Florence and Durham Mason, Kathryn and Warren Hofmann, Grant Watts, Tom Hewitt, Elizabeth Smith, Ray and Gail Brown, Doug Fulk, Bob and Gerty Bell, Ray Martin, Delores and Jamie Kinkle, Ruby Wisehart, and Cheryl Steuerwald. The Boy Scouts and the Brazil Fire Department also helped with this program.
Clay City volunteers would drive to Brazil to pick up food for their neighbors and friends until they were given their own distribution site. Those drivers included J.R. and Sharon Cooprider, Alberta Fagg, Carolyn Tickner, and Shirley Wall.
Three of the volunteers have passed away but Morlan wanted them to be recognized for their many hours of service, too. This included Wayne Atkinson, Ginny Miller, Betty Goss, and most recently Ernie Egloff. Morlan was very grateful to the First Christian Church for the use of their facilities.