Cowley College donates more than 700 pounds of meat to local food pantries

From left, Richard Graves, Lisa Longshore, Terry McClure, Board Chair Jill Long and Dr. Dennis C. Rittle.

Cowley College donated 723 pounds of meat to Manna Ministries in Arkansas City and the Winfield Community Food Pantry on Wednesday, following the purchase of a steer during the Cowley County Fair 4-H/FFA Market Livestock Auction on Aug. 5 at the Winfield Fairgrounds.

The college began purchasing cattle from local 4-H members and donating the beef to local food pantries in 2010.

Cowley board chair Jill Long and Cowley president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle met with Winfield Community Food Pantry volunteers Mari Wallrabenstein and Scott Schoon in Winfield.

“We are very appreciative of this gift, particularly the ground beef,” Wallrabenstein said. “This is something all of our clients can use and enjoy having. We are so thankful to the college for sharing this with us.”

The Winfield Community Food Pantry is housed in the Grace United Methodist Church apartments just north of the main building of the church. The pantry is dedicated to assisting the people in northern Cowley County who are in need of quality service, useable food items, and a nurturing and caring atmosphere.

Families coming to the Food Pantry must complete a referral form, have a picture ID, as well as have proof of a Winfield area address and meet income guidelines.

Following the delivery of the beef minute steak, beef ribeye steak, and ground beef to the Winfield Community Food Pantry, Long and Rittle then met with Lisa Longshore, director of Manna Ministries in Arkansas City.

“We are grateful to be a part of this terrific partnership to provide food for those in need of it in the community,” Long said. “It was an honor for me to accompany Dr. Rittle and be a part of the donation.”

Manna Ministries is a faith-based food pantry housed at the First Baptist Church, at A Street and Central Avenue. They welcome all donations and hold a distribution on the third Saturday of each month. The food pantry continues to grow as they service the southern half of Cowley County.

Longshore said Manna Ministries serves numerous families each month and is glad to have the college as a partner to the food pantry.

“It’s always wonderful to have this support from the college and something we look forward to each year,” Longshore said.

Entrance to Manna Ministries is through the north parking lot of First Baptist Church on Chestnut Avenue.

Families will need to bring picture ID, proof of income and proof of residence in order to receive the packaged beef.

Richard Graves, who has volunteered at Manna Ministries since it began nearly 20 years ago, said the facility was running low on meat and the donation came at the perfect time.

“Learning both pantries were in great need of protein it is a blessing that the college could reciprocate love back into our community,” Rittle said. “There is not much better than that.”

The meat was processed by Stroot Lockers in Mulvane.

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