The church in Keeler distributed food in new laundry baskets.

Archived Story

$13,000 food drive surpasses goal

Published 8:59pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

C. Wimberley’s third annual feed the hungry blitz with churches “went off the charts,” raising more than $13,000 to smash its $10,000 goal.

“We went three grand over our goal,” said Jim Allen, who coordinated the drive for Chuck Wimberley, a car dealer here for 24 years, with two locations on M-51 South.

Funds which flowed in after the police-escorted beer truck distribution Dec. 12 were converted to gift cards given to participating churches.

“This is a new Dowagiac tradition. Twenty years from now I think it will still be going. The whole city got behind it,” said Allen, assisted by Keeler pastor Boyd Saylor and former sales manager Dale Dandurand.

They stocked up on staples from the food bank in Benton Harbor for 25 cents on the dollar to leverage donations.

At factories which are satellites of offices in remote locations, local employees collected among themselves. Similarly, the police department cannot contribute government funds, but officers gave individually.

Allen delights recalling heart-warming moments he witnessed, such as diners leaving a restaurant who said, “Here, this is all the money we have left” and forked over $17.

Grocery stores, Family Fare and Harding’s, proved plentiful for dollar donations.

Even those who declined, by the time they reached their car, frequently returned with larger amounts, such as $20 or $50.

“I want the whole world to know what Dowagiac did,” he said.






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