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Feeding multitudes

Presbyterian churches donate meals to hard-hit Cedar Rapids

The United Presbyterian Church in Washington has donated more than 1,000 meals to disaster relief in Cedar Rapids. (Photo contributed)
The United Presbyterian Church in Washington has donated more than 1,000 meals to disaster relief in Cedar Rapids. (Photo contributed)
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WASHINGTON — A few days after the derecho hit Cedar Rapids, the United Presbyterian Church in Washington partnered with the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant to donate meals toward the disaster recovery efforts.

So far, the Washington church has donated more than 1,000 lunches.

The Rev. Erin Kaye said she saw the Mt. Pleasant church was donating meals and wanted to help. She reached out to the Rev. Sarah Hegar in Mt. Pleasant, and she agreed they could work together.

The lunches have gone to people in need as well as to volunteer crews assisting with the recovery, Kaye said.

The church put out a call to the community and church members, and Kaye said people responded.

All of the supplies for the meals were donated by church and community members who left donations at the church throughout the weeks. All of the individuals making the meals were volunteers as well.

The meals included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, dessert and bottled water.

During their first trip to Cedar Rapids, the group took 400 lunches to the parking lot of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids where churches had set up for donations. Kaye said people came for meals and were very thankful of the food.

A week or two later, they donated another 300 meals.

On Wednesday the church sent another 200 lunches to the Iowa Derecho Relief Center. Kaye said they are working with the Iowa Derecho Relief Center and will donate more lunches if they need it.

Kaye said the relief center was appreciative of the meals and how simple it is for people to take and not have to prepare.

Kaye said the need for emergency food supplies is starting to decrease, and she doesn’t expect the need to last for more than a few weeks.

“I’ve been really thankful of the eagerness of the community to support and assist,” Kaye said.