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Fairfield church delivers food to elderly, disabled

Former First United Methodist Church pastor Beth Harbaugh, right, supervises the delivery of the first of three pallets of food the church’s food bank committee distributed to disabled and elderly people in June. The church is partnering with Milestones Area Agency on Aging and the Food Bank of Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Beth Harbaugh)
Former First United Methodist Church pastor Beth Harbaugh, right, supervises the delivery of the first of three pallets of food the church’s food bank committee distributed to disabled and elderly people in June. The church is partnering with Milestones Area Agency on Aging and the Food Bank of Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Beth Harbaugh)

FAIRFIELD – The United Methodist Church in Fairfield has a new program to provide food to the elderly and disabled.

The church is working with Milestones Area Agency on Aging and the Food Bank of Iowa through its warehouse in Ottumwa.

Former Methodist Church pastor Beth Harbaugh said the church began the program to serve people it felt were falling through the cracks.

For instance, a number of agencies in the area help the hungry. A good example is the monthly food boxes that are distributed at the Fairfield Church of the Nazarene, and the regular disbursements at The Lord’s Cupboard.

Harbaugh said these are terrific programs, but they usually require that the person receiving the food be able to lift boxes and take them back to their house. Not everybody can do that.

“We have a lot of people who are disabled or elderly who can’t lift boxes,” Harbaugh said. “We knew we wanted to help people in that gap.”

The church began a food delivery program to serve the elderly and disabled in their homes. Parishioner Steve Ernst heads the program.

The church has been gathering non-perishable items such as soups, canned fruit, peanut butter, rice, crackers, vegetables and lots of other cooking supplies. Those who are interested are asked to call Ernst at 641-472-2879 or 641-919-6352.

Harbaugh said a group in town called the Hunger Dialogues has been a big help in addressing food insecurity.

“We have a lot of hungry people in our community,” she said. “We’re trying to catch all those who need help.”