Help needed for Food for Friends this summer

During the summer, the need for hunger assistance is at an all time high as children do not have access to free/reduced price meals at school. The Food for Friends ministry that St. John’s supports needs you to help ensure all K-M children have enough to eat this summer.

The summer food program kicks off Wednesday, June 6.

We are in need of one Food For Friends volunteer to staff the food pick-up from 4:55 pm – 6:00 pm each Wednesday evening. Can you give on hour to help a K-M family in need?

You can sign up at

Free AGAPE* Concert

On Wednesday, May 17, 7-9 pm (after Wednesday night worship), AGAPE* will be joining us at St. John’s for a FREE evening of music and storytelling. We will be collecting peanut butter and jelly (plastic containers only, please) for our Food for Friends program.

AGAPE* (Dave Scherer) combines rapping, dancing, storytelling, and his fluency in Spanish to connect with his listeners in a way that they really “get it.” His energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. You can find more information here.


What we were up to last month

  • We kicked off our Worship in the Park Wednesday night worship experience
  • Food for Friends continues with an option for families to pick up food here at St. John’s.
  • Approximately 80 kids joined us for “Around the World VBS”
  • 18 confirmation students and their adult chaperones travelled to South Dakota for confirmation camp.

Food for Friends Update

Food for Friends, the backpack ministry in which we partner with the Methodist churches in Kasson and Dodge Center, continues to flourish. As the school year winds down, we’re providing weekly supplemental food to about 35 kids in the K-M Elementary School and five families with kids in K-M preschool. We also received a $10,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust ($5,000 undirected and $5,000 matching), which will enable us to continue to serve our families over the summer (a time when, without the breakfasts and lunches provided through the school system, many families find their finances really stretched).  We also hope to expand next school year into the middle and high schools.

Food for Friends is thankful for all the packing help provided by our Oasis 5th and 6th graders and confirmation classes – they all do an amazing job! During the summer, we will be partnering with local childcare organizations to pack food, and we’d always love more helpers. And since all the food we use is either donated or purchased from Channel One in Rochester, we are also very appreciative of all donations of food and money to support this ministry. Because of the Otto Bremer matching grant, all money donated is matched dollar for dollar, making your donation go twice as far!

If you’d like to contribute or help with the program, or just want more information about Food for Friends, please check out the Food for Friends webpage, talk to Angie Richards or Jenifer Hodgeman, or contact the St John’s office. God is all over this ministry so thanks to all of you for your involvement!

Food for Friends Ministry Takes Off

If you’ve seen the Sunday school rooms on a Wednesday evening, you may have seen piles of backpacks filled with all sorts of tasty food. These backpacks are just the beginning of our Food for Friends backpack program, which started in early October. Each week during the school year, kids in the Oasis and confirmation programs here at St John’s will fill the backpacks with nutritious food for distribution to students in the elementary school who are at risk of hunger on weekends and school breaks.

We hope to build relationships with the families participating in Food for Friends. That’s already happening. The Thanksgiving break gave us an opportunity to share our abundance and provide food baskets to some of the families participating in the program. We originally intended to provide baskets for 14 families, but because of your generosity (and that of our partner congregations) we collected enough food to provide 18 baskets to families! All the families stopped at St. Johns to pick of their baskets and were very thankful for the much-needed food.

This is truly a community effort to fight hunger. In addition to Channel One Food Bank and staff at the Kassan-Mantorville Elementary School, we are partnering with the Methodist congregations in Kasson and Dodge Center and also working with businesses, organizations, and individuals in the area to make this ministry a reality. As support increases, we hope to expand the program to cover kids in Middle School as well. To contribute or help with the program, or for more information about Food for Friends, please contact Angie Richards, Jenifer Hodgeman, or the office at St. John’s. Or visit

Packing boxes for a Thanksgiving meal for our Food for Friends families.

Packing boxes for a Thanksgiving meal for our Food for Friends families.

Collecting food for Thanksgiving

We are collecting food for Thanksgiving to share with the families participating in the Food for Friends Backpack Program. Please join us by bringing in bags of stuffing, cans of vegetables, gravy mix or cans (no glass, please), potatoes, or money to purchase turkeys. You may place food items in the marked bin in the narthex or bring money to the office. Final day for donations is Sunday, November 22.