Submitted by Rene Carroll
The Camas and Washougal community is being asked to strive to make a difference and impact on the lives of local school families needing a helping hand with summer meals. IMPACT CW (Camas-Washougal), organized by St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal, will be held on Sunday, June 12 starting at 12 p.m. at Parker’s Landing Historic Park at the Port of Camas-Washougal. Volunteers will be filling food boxes and collecting donations to assist approximately 200 local families.
“Summer is a wonderful time to be a kid,” said Beth Raetz, Impact CW Committee Member and Church Office Secretary. “However, many in our community rely on school provided meals during the school year. When school stops for summer those meals end. These kids may get into a summer meal program but there could be several weeks before they start. These meals will help to bridge that gap. It just gives them a boost.”
As a part of the event, the community is encouraged to drive by and drop off food donations, especially protein items (peanut butter, chili, etc.) that will be shared with local food pantries, including the Treasure House. “If they can, we’d love to have people stop for a while and help fill boxes,” said Raetz. “Volunteers will be treated to a free BBQ lunch and an outdoor concert by the Camas-Washougal Community Orchestra all starting at noon.”
“There’s a real sense of community spirit and awareness when we come together to help our neighbors,” said Susan Klemetsrud, ICW committee member. “Because all ages can participate, it’s a fun way for families to give back to the community.”
And there are many ways for the community to help:
- Sort and package food boxes at the park event on June 12
- Drive by to donate food for local food pantries.
- Assist with the free Community BBQ (or just enjoy the BBQ) on June 12
- Help deliver food boxes to Camas and Washougal schools on June 13
- Make a financial gift (to pre-purchase all the food and gift cards). The financial goal is $16,000.
Donors can use the Go Fund Me or by check made out to St. Matthew Lutheran Church and mailed to 716 Washougal River Road, Washougal, WA 98671. Checks can also be dropped off at the church Tuesdays-Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“These food boxes mean families have less worry and stress about feeding their families in the interim between the end of school and before other sources of assistance start in the summer,” Klemetsrud said.
School districts are currently working to identify those families who could use some help. “If you or someone you know could use some extra assistance with a food box and local grocery store gift card and are not already on the schools’ active backpack program, please contact your school counselor or principal prior to May 25,” said Raetz.