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VFW raising funds to purchase deep freeze for commodity program

by Amber Countryman, Sumner Newscow — The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 881 in Wellington is currently seeking donations for a new deep freeze to accommodate frozen meats, vegetables, and other items for their commodity food distribution program.

“Don’t be afraid to ask if you qualify,” said Program Director Theresa Snider. “Even if you make over the income guidelines, if you get food stamps, EBT or Snap, you qualify for commodities.”

Currently, the VFW offers two commodity programs, one being income-based, and one from a disaster relief grant due to COVID-19, which is non-income based. Due to the programs being held monthly, instead of the former quarterly time period, a deep freeze is needed in order for the program to obtain frozen items to help those in need in the community and surrounding areas.

They are asking for donations toward a deep freeze, and cash or checks are accepted. Donations may be left at the VFW, noted that it’s for the deep freeze, or given to Theresa Snider, or Lourella Newman. An account for this donation purposes has also been set up at RCB Bank.

Senior citizens aged 60 and over are also entitled to an additional commodity food box at the Wellington Baptist Temple, 1022 N. Plum, where Snider is also program director.

Currently, the commodity food program serves over 300 people, including families. Those participating can expect to receive items such as canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned and fresh juices, powdered and frozen eggs, peanut butter, frozen meats when available, and a variety of other food items.

Recently, the VFW Commodity Food Program applied for the Farm to Table Kansas grant, which is need-based rather than income-based. Once the grant is received and the program coordinated, people can bring their own bags and shop for what free fresh produce items they want, in a come and go fashion, during certain hours.

“We are considered a food desert, as some areas have farmer’s markets,” Snider said.

For income guidelines or more information, check the Wellington/Belle Plaine/Mayfield KS commodity page on Facebook or call Snider at 620-326-7804.

“If it wasn’t for the team effort of volunteers and all involved, we wouldn’t be able to offer the commodity program to the community,” Snider said. “We have to have a lot of volunteers, and we have a great group of people who volunteer.”

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