CORRECTION: This article has been updated to clarify the name of the First Melissa church and to correct the spelling error in Sarah Stoltzfus's name.
Sarah Stoltzfus is a stay-at-home mom who has five children ranging between the ages of 3 and 18. While holding a Bible study group in her home, Stoltzfus and two of her friends, Jennifer Coco and Maureen Guarro, challenged each other to step out of their comfort zones and try to make a difference. Stoltzfus said they all had the desire to make a difference in the community.
In May, all three women attended a women's Christian conference called Pink Impact in Fort Worth. While attending the convention, Stoltzfus said the women felt called to do something. Once they returned to Melissa, Coco mentioned a program she had helped out with the summer before called the Anna Kids Lunch Program. Coco's contribution to the Anna program was delivering sack lunches to children during the summer months. Stoltzfus said Coco was surprised to find out Melissa did not already have a program like this one in place.
Stoltzfus said once they realized Melissa did not currently have an organization such as the one in Anna, they knew what they had to do.
“One Wednesday afternoon, we met at the park to let our kids play and discuss an action plan,” Stoltzfus said.
Coco invited her friend Millie Rodriguez, and she was immediately on board with the idea, Stoltzfus said.
The initial step for the women to get started on the program was to contact Carrie Butler, the one who runs the Anna Kids Lunch Program, and schedule a meeting to brainstorm for ideas.
“Carrie was so supportive and encouraging,” Stoltzfus said. “She is doing so much for the community of Anna and Westminster area through her program.”
Five days later, Feed the Need was launched. Stoltzfus said the aim for the program is simple.
“We are a group of Melissa residents whose goal is to provide free lunches to children in need during the summer,” Stoltzfus said.
Stoltzfus and Guarro both said they are honored to be able to serve the community and help the children.
“We pray that they would know they are cared for and loved,” Stoltzfus said.
"We are so thankful to the community for the support they have given us,” Guarro said. “It takes everyone working together to make this program a success. Our desire is to see this program grow and offer different services in the future.”
“The good feedback from the community is evident in the number of people who have liked and shared our Facebook page,” Stoltzfus said.
The Facebook page, called “Feed the Need-Melissa” has garnered 248 likes in less than two weeks. The Feed the Need program, a nonprofit organization, already has four drop-off locations for donations, and a central location to make and store the food by a local church. The drop-off locations are First Melissa church, MedPro Pharmacy, Melissa Public Library and Mudpies and Lullabies of Melissa.