Participation is easy! If you plant a garden we ask you to plant one extra row of vegetables and donate your surplus produce to the Food Pantry. We are then able to provide our clients with fresh produce. You may drop the produce off at any time, but Mondays are usually best since our food distribution is on Tuesday mornings. Last year we collected nearly 1,500 pounds!
For some children starting their school year off with new school supplies is a luxury. Each July and August we collect and distribute school supplies to children who may otherwise have to do without. While doing your own school shopping, why not add a few things for another child? School supply lists may be obtained by going to Geneseo Schools and clicking on supply lists.
The Geneseo Backpack Program is a local mission of First United Methodist Church being implemented in the Geneseo School District to address the needs of children. The reality of hungry children in our school district has inspired and motivated the program to take shape. This program was organized in partnership with the Geneseo School District and was initiated in March 2011. It is coordinated and supported by volunteers of all faiths and caring members of our community.
The Geneseo Backpack Program provides nutritious kid-friendly food to children who live in “food insecure” households (households without consistent access to food) to get them through the weekend when school breakfast and lunch are not available. This program is at no cost to the child. The number of children who are recipients of the program is identified by the school counselors, teachers, school nurses as needing food to assist through the weekend. They give a number to the program coordinator. There is no disclosure of names.
The program is available to anyone who asks to be a recipient. This can be done through the Counselor’s Office at any school in the Geneseo District.
The Geneseo Backpack Program fills a gallon plastic bag with 6-8 food items such as granola bars, cereal bars, cereal, canned fruit, milk, instant oatmeal, and canned meals such as stew, soup, or ravioli. The bags are delivered weekly. The school then discreetly places the bag in the child’s backpack on the last day of school each week and prior to holiday weekends. Fareway currently partners with the program and supplies the food at cost as much as possible. A few items come from the River Bend Food Bank.
Anyone who wants to help in any way—packing and delivering bags is welcome. Fundraising and increasing awareness are also important in continuing the program since it is supported by donations only. Anyone wishing to help in these areas is also needed.
Each fall we collect and distribute new and gently used winter coats, hats, mittens, and scarves for school-aged children. Our goal is to ensure that every child we serve has warm clothing for the winter season.
Many of our clients cannot afford a traditional Thanksgiving meal. There’s no money to pay the bills let alone everything needed for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. You can help a family by purchasing the ingredients for them to make a Thanksgiving dinner or purchase a gift card for them to shop for themselves.
Church groups, organizations, businesses, etc. may wish to adopt an entire family for the holidays. You can provide a meal and/or gifts for each family member. Let us know the size of the family you wish to adopt, we will then contact the family and request a “wish list” of things each family member would like or need for Christmas. We will forward that list to you and you can shop for some of the things they have wished for. Gifts are dropped off at the Food Pantry and the family picks them up. This is a very popular program that has blessed many families over the years by the generosity of others.