Washougal WA — Camas and Washougal community members are being asked to help make an impact on the lives of school families who need a little help with summer meals.  IMPACT CW (Camas-Washougal), organized by St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal, will be held on Sunday, June 10 from 11am to 2pm at Parker’s Landing Historic Park at the Port of Camas-Washougal, to collect donations and fill food boxes.

“We are asking the community to drive up and drop off their food donations,” said Beth Raetz, Impact CW Committee Member and Church Office Secretary. “If they can, we’d love to have them stop for a while, help fill boxes, enjoy a free BBQ lunch and listen to an outdoor concert by the Camas-Washougal Community Orchestra.”

St. Matthew Pastor Bob Barber started the event and continues to be a driving force. According to Raetz, the event grew from a sermon series “Be the Difference,” which culminated in going shopping and packing boxes during the Sunday morning worship service for the first event.  Barber is the 2018 Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce’s selection for Citizen of the Year.

Although many people are conditioned to make food donations around the holidays, Raetz explains that there is another critical need at this time of year.  “We are targeting families in the schools who receive free breakfast and free lunches and are a part of the backpack programs,” she said. “When school stops for summer those meals end.  These kids may get into a summer meal program but there could be several weeks before they start.  These meals will help to bridge that gap.  It just gives them a boost.”

Now in its fourth year, IMPACT CW is growing. “This year we are continuing to invite groups to get involved and help out,” said Raetz.  “We have high school students working on their community service hours, scout troops, church groups, businesses and families volunteering to help.  It is so wonderful to see families from little ones to big ones all helping to fill up boxes.”

Once the boxes are filled, they will be packed in a U-haul truck and on Monday morning will be delivered to Camas and Washougal schools who will then connect the boxes with families in need.

Schools are currently working to identify those families who could use some help.  “Last year we made 140 boxes,” said Raetz. “This year we expect the need will grow to 200.”

Non-perishable food donations can be made in advance of the event and dropped off at St. Matthew Lutheran Church at 716 Washougal River Road ,Tuesday through Friday from 9:30am to 1:00pm.  Financial contributions can be made through or checks made out to St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

For more information, contact Raetz at the church office at 360-835-5533.

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