Following the purchase of a steer during the Cowley County Fair 4-H/FFA Market Livestock Auction on Aug. 1 at the Winfield Fairgrounds, Cowley College donated a total of 658 pounds of meat to Manna Ministries in Arkansas City and the Winfield Community Food Pantry.

The college began purchasing cattle from local 4-H members and donating the beef to local food pantries since 2010.

“As fellow community members, there are very few opportunities which bring more joy than providing food for our community when they are at points of need,” said Cowley College President Dennis Rittle.

Representatives from the college met with Lisa Palmer, director of Manna Ministries, to deliver the beef.

Manna Ministries is a faith-based food pantry housed at First Baptist Church, located at A Street and Central Avenue. The food ministry welcome all donations and holds a distribution on the last Saturday of each month. The food pantry continues to grow as it services the southern half of Cowley County.

Palmer said she is glad to have the college as a partner to the food pantry. “We are always grateful to the college,” she said. “This will provide meat for all of our families for the next coming month.”

Entrance to Manna Ministries is through the north parking lot of First Baptist Church on Chestnut Avenue.

Families will need to bring picture identification, proof of income and proof of residence in order to receive the packaged beef.

Following the delivery of the roast and hamburger meat to Manna Ministries, college representatives delivered the other half of the beef to the Winfield Community Food Pantry.

Representatives from the college met with food pantry volunteers Kim Pringle and Gayle Walker at Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield.

“The kids that raise the steer benefit from the college’s purchase and now the community will benefit from the college’s generosity, as well,” Walker said.

Phil Jarvis, director of the Winfield Community Food Pantry, said there is a definite need for the beef.

“The donation of the ground beef and roast will be very much appreciated by our clients,” Jarvis said. “This helps tremendously.”

The Winfield Community Food Pantry is dedicated to assisting the people in northern Cowley County who are in need of quality service, usable food items, and a nurturing and caring atmosphere.

The pantry is housed in the basement of Grace United Methodist Church and pays no rent or utilities. The pantry, which is located at 320 College St., is staffed entirely by volunteers.

Families coming to the food pantry must complete a referral form, have proof of a Winfield-area address and meet the income guidelines. Eligible families are given staple items and vouchers to use for fresh food at a local grocery store.

The pantry is open from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The meat was processed by Cedar Vale Locker.

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.