By Hailey Huffman Tuesday, June 23 at the Rockford American Legion the 57th pantry was held for Operation Cornucopia. Operation Cornucopia works in cooperation with the Feeding America Program at the West Michigan Food Bank. Feeding America is a nationwide network that provides food to people across America and has been the first responder to hunger crisis in America for the last 35 years. The idea behind food banking was developed by John van Hegel of Phoenix, Arizona in the 1960’s. Van Hegel met a mother who had been digging through a trash bin to find food for her children, when she suggested that a place be developed for discarded food to be stored for pick up by families in need. Volunteers from Merritt Lamb Post 102, boy scouts from troops 228, 282, and 283, along with local volunteers and the Rockford Masonic Lodge come together on the last Tuesday of every month to help bag and box food to give to people in need. Clyde Sinclair, commander of Merritt Lamb Post 102 and operation organizer, says on average per month they give away 7,500 pounds of food, which can feed approximately 130 families. Since the beginning of the program in November of 2009, volunteers and businesses among the community have donated around 460,000 pounds of food, an estimated total of $998,200.00 worth of groceries on the table. Members of the Post are quick to agree that it would not have been possible without the help of local community members. Funding and supplies for the pantries not only comes from member donations but from local businesses and civic organizations. Upcoming 2015 event dates include July 28, August 25, September 22, October 27, November 24 and December 22. If you would like to volunteer, please feel free to contact the Merritt Lamb Post at (616) 866-2001.
Committed to making life better in their community, the Rockford Masonic Lodge presented $1,350 to the Rockford American Legion Post, in support of the Post’s Operation Cornucopia. The American Legion Post created Operation Cornucopia in 2009 to distribute food to northern Kent County residents who are experiencing difficult times. To date, more than 70,000 pounds of food have been distributed to more than 600 families in need. “With charity being the cornerstone of Masonry, it seemed only natural to join with the American Legion to feed the hungry in our community,” said Worshipful Master Jim Penrod. “When called upon to help, the members dug into their own pockets along with hosting a dinner theater to provide the necessary funds. I can’t thank the brothers enough for supporting this most worthy and noble cause.” “We are very thankful for this very gracious gift and pleased to have the members of the Masonic Lodge on our team,” replied Clyde Sinclair, Commander of the Rockford Post. “Operation Cornucopia is truly a community work and, without the assistance of other community members, we would be unable to provide the aid that we do.”