Led by the Mission Committee of Lincoln’s
First Presbyterian Church, “Food for Thought”
provides nutritious and non-perishable supplemental
food to 32 children whose families qualify for the
federally funded free or reduced fee meal program.
Each youth enrolled in the program at Northwest and
Jefferson Elementary Schools in Lincoln receives a
bag of food each Friday.
According to First Presbyterian Church Mission
Committee Chair Marsha Dallas, a pool of thirty-four
volunteers from the First Presbyterian congregation
share the tasks of filling the sacks on Wednesdays
and delivering them to the schools on Thursdays.
Food for Thought organizers, Cherie Aper and Karen
Sams Davis purchase the items early each week and
deliver them to the church’s shelves. First
Presbyterian Church buys the items at Wal-Mart,
which provides some financial support for the
program as does the Great Rivers Presbytery.
Much of the church’s other funding for the program
comes from proceeds of its Pork Barbecue, an annual
July event that draws hundreds of community members
to the church.
First Presbyterian Church’s Food for Thought program
has inspired other Presbyterian churches in western
Illinois to begin similar programs, according to
Presbytery Treasurer, Gary Davis. In addition to
Food for Thought, another opportunity for
volunteering is First Presbyterian’s Tutoring
program, which brings a dozen community members –
some from other Lincoln churches – to the
Washington-Monroe Elementary School every Tuesday.
Tutors provide mentoring for several elementary
school students while working with the students on
key basic skills.