John’s Meals Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 10, 2015 – 7:15 PM – Zion UCC social room
Attending: Pastor Ben Siebert, Chris Parker, Kathy Fissel, Karin Guise, Becky Adelmann, Pam Taylor, Michele Binkley. Excused: Angie Vines
Opening devotions and prayer – Pastor Ben led discussion about supporting the John’s Meals ministry through story telling.
April 28th meeting minutes – approved by consent.
Treasurer’s report – approved by consent. Recent donations were received from Christ Lutheran, Aspers ($3650) and St. James Lutheran, Wenksville ($250).
Student count and food inventory status – Chris reported that the student count for the last week of school was 62. (The count was at 19 for the first 8 weeks of the program.) His goal is to have about a 2-month food reserve on the shelves at the beginning of the new school year.
Old agenda items:
Duffle bag follow-up – 16 of the 22 duffle bags handed out were returned by the students the last week of school.
Fundraising volunteer – Michele Binkley attended the meeting to learn more about the program and this volunteer position, which would involve researching grants and helping Pastor Kim with applications. After a discussion about grant possibilities and past donations, Michele said she would give it a try and see what she can do.
Food/fund raising opportunities –
Pam gave Michele the website information for the Cline Family Foundation.
Pam said the Valerie Bertinelli food support program doesn’t appear to be a viable option.
Pastor Ben indicated that the ELCA has 2 grants available that could be possibilities for us.
Chris will be contacting the Giant and Hanover Walmart managers by the next meeting.
There is no word yet from Kay Hollabaugh about her contact with Rob Bennett.
Chris prepared a large print pamphlet and a duffle bag filled with 2 bags of food for the Arendtsville Vocational School class reunion. The attendees were excited to learn about this outreach program that is dedicated to the memory of one of the school’s graduates.
Pam volunteered to write a short monthly update to send to all member churches to include in their newsletters or bulletins.
Facebook page and John’s Meals website – Angie will be contacting Jeff Morton about setting these up. At present there is a John’s Meals tab on the Zion UCC website.
Any issues from school, packing groups, or other correspondence – Because some packing teams prefer the plastic bins and others prefer the cardboard boxes, both will be made available for carrying the bags of food to the school.
Letters to current churches – Chris will have letters ready soon to send to the churches asking if they will continue their support for the next school year.
Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts – Kathy reported the scouts are willing to continue counting out the food items each week.
Summer break food support – A list of food pantries and soup kitchens in Upper Adams and Gettysburg was compiled by Pam and Karin and sent home with the students the last week of school.
New agenda items:
End of year survey – Chris shared the results of the surveys sent home at the end of the school year. 14 out of 18 families returned the survey. The responses indicate that at this point we have 39 bags confirmed for 2015-16. (15 of these are for Arendtsville Elementary students; the remaining 24 are for their siblings.) One family with 3 children does not wish to continue in the program.
Bendersville expansion for next school year –
The committee discussed logistics, the need for more packing teams and the increased food costs that would be required for expansion of the program to Bendersville Elementary. Another need would be more volunteers to help Chris with food procurement.
After discussion of a suggestion that we start with a limit of 20 bags at Bendersville, Pastor Ben proposed that we demonstrate a 3-month financial sustainability level before committing to expanding. Chris will pull together actual food costs and the value of church donations and report back at the next meeting.
If expansion is determined to be financially possible, the recommendation is to continue to store the food at Zion UCC and pack all the bags there but to have separate packing teams for Arendtsville and Bendersville. There is now more room to pack since the Head Start program is no longer using the social room.
The UACT meeting for all churches will be held on June 28 at Zion UCC at 2:00 P.M. following the picnic at South Mountain Fairgrounds.
NEXT MEETING DATE: Wednesday, July 29 at 7 PM in the Zion UCC social room.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Becky Adelmann