The Lord’s Diner blessed with beef

Paul Cater moves hundred pounds of beef into The Lord’s Diner freezer Tuesday, April 20. (Advance photo)

Ark City company sharing its bounty during the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in challenges for The Lord’s Diner, the diocesan ministry to the hungry, but it has also produced blessings.

Last week one of those blessings weighed 3,338 pounds.

Diner Director Jan Haberly said the donation Monday, April 20, of almost a ton and a half of ground beef from Creekstone Farms Premium Beef in Arkansas City, was a surprise and a blessing.

“This will take care of a lot of meals,” she said during an interview in the Diner’s garage while waiting for the delivery truck. “We’ve seen new faces, folks we haven’t seen before.”

The gift, she said, helps the Diner’s commitment “to make sure we get these folks a good meal every single day.”

Diner feeding 1,500 daily

The donation was generous, but when feeding 1,500 people a day the food goes quickly, Haberly said. “We can make a lot of different kinds of meals from it, a lot of casseroles, those kinds of things, to stretch it as best we can.”

The number of patrons served is only up slightly since the pandemic began, she said, adding that she believes some of the regular clients are sheltering-at-home.

“I think one of our homeless guests said it best when he said, ‘Thank you for not forgetting about us,’” Haberly added.

Creekstone Farms has reached out several times recently to help feed those in need in Southcentral Kansas during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Doug Mackay, SVP general counsel for the company, said in addition to The Lord’s Diner donation, the company has also recently donated over 6,000 pounds of ground beef to food charities in Winfield and Arkansas City.

Mackay said the company has been able to keep operations going because it began making preparations for the pandemic in early March. “We’ve taken a lot of care trying to keep our employees healthy with a number of protocols,” he said. “As a result, we’re actually still operating when a lot of the other big packers have had outbreaks which have resulted in closures or a slowing down of production.”

Creekstone Farms donating to surrounding communities

In addition to donating a lot of their product to employees during the pandemic, the Creekstone Farms board decided to donate beef to the community.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to let the community know that Creekstone cares,” he said, “because a lot of these food banks are struggling because of increased demand.

The silver lining to the pandemic is revealing itself in how the community is taking care of those in need, Mackay said. “I see people being a little more respectful to their neighbors and hopefully this will last.”