The Feed My Sheep bake sale, book sale and silent auction returned Saturday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.
The fundraising event is a community effort as the Feed My Sheep Committee is made up of members from several different area churches. Doors opened at 9 am at the Desloge First Baptist Church and ended with the pastors cake auction beginning at noon.
Desloge Mayor David Shaw was a volunteer at the event and said they received 760 baked goods, 56 silent auction items and more than 1,700 books.
Organizer Jack Poston said many of the church congregations raise money all year and some raise money just before the sale.
“We have a good group of workers,” he said. “The community, businesses and churches are very generous on everything that was donated. We had over $11,000 donated before we even started.”
Pati Robertson, the pastor of the Desloge and Esther Methodist Churches, reaped the most in the clergy cake competition with a final bid of $1,800. The total raised from the clergy cakes was $8,817.
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The final amount raised for Feed My Sheep will be revealed when the committee meets to review the event.
Inspired by Help the Hungry Bake Sale in Farmington and Madison County’s Feed the Families Bake Sale, Feed My Sheep began in 2018 with a bake sale and silent auction held the Saturday before Palm Sunday at the Desloge First Baptist Church. Jack and Elizabeth Poston began advertising the charitable fundraising event.
Proceeds benefit the five food pantries in central and northern St. Francois County: Bismarck Church of God Food Pantry, Bonne Terre/St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry, Elvins Food Pantry, House of Praise Food Pantry, and Immaculate Conception/St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry.
Following the sale, all funds raised will be divided proportionally according to the number of people using the food pantry, according to East Missouri Action Agency records.
Since its conception, Feed My Sheep has donated more than $92,000 to area food pantries. The event raised nearly $25,000 in 2018 and more than $35,000 the following year.
In 2020, the fundraiser was canceled due to pandemic precautions, but the group still managed to collect and contribute $8,000. The sale was canceled again last year, but $24,500 was still raised for the cause.
Like Farmington’s Help the Hungry Bake Sale, the centerpiece of the fundraiser is the pastor’s cake auction, where pastors bake their favorite cake and auction it off.
This year’s business sponsors included New Era Bank on the Good Shepherd donation level, donating $500 or more. American Heritage Abstract was a Ram-level sponsor with a donation of $300 or more.
Sponsors on the Lamb level, contributing $200 or more, were CZ Boyer & Son Funeral Homes, First State Community Bank, and Lix Frozen Custard. Herdsman level sponsors donating $100 or more included Complete Vision Care; Mineral Area Overhead Door, Sam Scism Motors; Hubbard Construction & General Contracting; Hub’s Pub & Grill; Willette Home Furnishings; Ozarks Modern Insulation; and Patsy’s Furniture.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com