Lincoln VFW Mobilizes To Help During COVID-19

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The Lincoln Memorial VFW Post 5925 handed out 840 boxes of produce to everyone arriving at the NAPA parking lot in Warsaw on June 17.  The event started at 9 AM, and ended at 11 AM. The produce was provided by C & C Produce in Kansas City and paid for by a federal grant related to COVID-19. 
“We had an 18-wheeler deliver the produce and didn’t know if we could get the vehicle  into the parking lot because of the large number of cars that started lining up at 6:45 AM,” said Royce Kelb, Commander of the Lincoln VFW, and Missouri VFW Vice Commander. “We had to unload 20 pallets from the truck. Each pallet had 40 boxes of produce and each box weighed 30 pounds. There were 25 volunteers from the VFW and the VFW Auxiliary passing out the boxes. The Benton County Sheriff and Warsaw Police Department were a great help directing traffic in and out of the lot.”
Kelb said that each box had lettuce, potatoes, carrots, celery, apples, peaches, blue berries, onions, oranges, zucchini, carrots and peppers.  The VFW went to churches in Cole Camp, Lincoln, and Warsaw, on Friday, June 12, to ask that notification be made during Sunday services about the produce handouts that would take place on the following Wednesday. VFW also advertised the event through 97.1 The Lake Tradio and in the Benton County Enterprise.
“VFWs throughout Missouri were asked by C & C Produce to distribute the produce, and Lincoln’s VFW was responsible for Benton County,” said Kelb. “Benton County distributed the largest number of boxes in the state.”
Kelb reported that another produce distribution will take place in Benton County on Wednesday, July 15, at the Corps of Engineers East Bledsoe Ferry location.  He said it is a larger location that will make it easier for traffic. The produce handed out on June 17, filled three-fourths of an 18-wheeler. But, on July 15, the 18-wheeler will be completely full of produce. The event will also begin at 9 AM.
“We are doing what we can to help the community,” said Kelb. “That’s what the VFW does. We all served our country and are now serving our community.”
C&C Produce was selected by the USDA as an approved supplier to provide Boxes of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables at no cost to “food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need” pursuant to the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. 
On April 29, Katy Trail hosted the distribution of 130 boxes of fresh groceries to local residents in need.  The groceries were provided by Harvesters-The Community Food Network, a regional food bank serving a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and Northeastern Kansas.