To the editor:
Friday, Nov. 16, was the last distribution of Fare For All Express (located at Western Community Action) for the Marshall site. After participating in the program since 1989 and purchasing a package or two almost every month of those 23 years, I am very sad to see this program end.
I have heard that Redwood Falls is going to attempt to keep Fare For All going in their community. That means someone from their group is going to travel to New Hope each month on distribution day and pick up their orders.
I remember when Dale and I traveled to Montevideo each month to sort, count and pick up the orders then returned to Marshall to unload, sort and set up for distribution. Thank you to all who volunteered and helped with the driving, counting, loading and unloading in all sort of weather conditions.
I also want to thank everyone who ever participated in Fare Share, then Fare For All, and finally Fare For All Express, for all that you did to help this program prosper and bring affordable food to those who needed it.
We got started in Fare Share, run by Mary Doom, who started it with Sister Anna Marie, when PPG left Marshall.
All of a sudden, we didn't have that regular paycheck coming into our household, and we didn't qualify for any programs because our previous year's tax returns reflected that we were doing just fine. Someone mentioned Fare Share didn't have restrictions because of income; so we checked it out, bought a package, and couldn't believe the amount of good food we could get for so little money. We started volunteering and were soon deeply involved in the program.
When Mary Doom couldn't continue leading the program, her son, Tony, said to come get the boxes (Mary ran the program out of two cardboard boxes), and here I was organizing the whole thing. It was probably one of the best things I ever had to do, and I consider myself a better person for it.
A couple of years ago the program changed again and became Fare For All Express coordinated by Western Community Action. The food packages were brought in already boxed up. No more pre-ordering, driving, loading, counting. The participants were able to just stop by to purchase. Unfortunately, the high cost of transportation to bring these packages from New Hope to Marshall has forced this program to end Nov. 16.
Fare For All will be greatly missed. So thank you again to all who helped, volunteered, purchased, and donated your time and skills. I hope something else will become available, and that this hole in the fabric of our community will be mended.
former Fare For All coordinator