Every harvest season, farmers wait in long lines for two to four hours in their trucks at their local co-op and grain elevators. Seeing this, the members of Loup Valley No. 437 in Ord, NE were inspired to make a difference and made plans for a project they call Feed the Farmer.
In its first year, No. 437 worked on the project and gained community interest. By its second year in 2015, the city chamber and local grocery stores were donating water to use in the sacks. It also became an opportunity to collaborate and work with nearby Slavin No. 112 of Comstock.
In the fall of 2015, Secretary Sandy Psota, and over 100 members of both No. 437 and No. 112, began preparing sack lunches to deliver to the farmers. Groups would prepare sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and drinks. Sometimes, the cookies were homemade. The sandwiches and fruit were bought by the lodges. These items were put in the sacks with Western Fraternal Life calendars, pencils, and flyers. Once prepared, the sacks were driven to various locations around Ord and Comstock, NE where the farmers waited. In some cases, the members were able to set up an area where the drivers could pick up the lunch sacks themselves.
Sandy Psota remarked, “It was good to talk to the farmers and families working to accomplish the same goal.” The members of both lodges were able to deliver 60 lunches. In addition, they set up a cooler giveaway, where farmers would put their names in for the drawing. In 2015, Tony Brutho and Dennis Miller were winners of the coolers. Psota estimated that there were ten hours volunteered to this project throughout the year.
Member Programs Manager Kelsey Logan at Western commented, “We love to see lodges become inspired to make a difference and find unique ways to volunteer in their communities. I am alsopleased at how these two lodges were able to work together and expand the project to feed more farmers.”
Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.