The Adel Lions Club has recently donated $5,000 to the Adel Ministerial Association and $10,000 to the Adel Food Pantry.

Prior to COVID-19, the Lions Club had formed a committee of five members to help determine how to best use their funds and present recommendations at their June 2020 meeting. However, when the outbreak of COVID-19 began to get serious, the Lions Club determined that this year it would be better to help the community sooner rather than later.

“We discussed a few needs of the community and decided that it would be best if we helped the charities that were already doing a great job of helping out. We finally settled on the Adel Food Pantry and the Adel Ministerial Association Emergency Fund,” Adel Lions Club President Pat Rohret said. “We decided that the funds were better off used to help the community during this one-time pandemic than holding them for a larger project later on.”

Rohret also said that the hope is that their two donations will not only help bring awareness to the good work these two charities are doing but will also help encourage other organizations and individuals to contribute as well.

“It is our hope that our donation at this time allows these two charities to plan for the near future knowing how much funds that they have on hand to help people,” Rohret said. “We also hoped that by drawing attention to these charities with this donation that the public becomes more aware of the help that some need is available.”

The Adel Ministerial Association is an organization made up of several churches located throughout the City of Adel. With their emergency fund, these churches help assist residents living in the Adel-DeSoto-Minburn Community School District with rent assistance, transportation, prescription costs and more. In addition, pastors of the Adel Churches have made themselves available for counseling, guidance, or prayers to those who ask.

“It is a true testimony of the loving and generous work of the Adel Lions Club. And, frankly, we are thankful for the attention they have shown on the Adel Ministerial Association because of it,” Adel Ministerial Association Co-Treasurer Kandi Beaman said.

The Adel Ministerial Association typically hosts two fundraises annually to help with their emergency fund, one of which includes the Palm Sunday Choirs Concert. However, due to the pandemic, this year’s concert was ultimately canceled.

“We had been a little anxious about how we could provide the help we knew would be needed. And then, just like magic, some would say, or as an answer to prayer, lots would say, the Lions reached out to us amidst the coronavirus pandemic and asked if they could help,” Beaman said.

The Adel Food Pantry has also helped families who have become more food-insecure due to COVID-19. The food pantry had previously limited most of its services to people living in the Adel-De Soto-Minburn and Van Meter Community School Districts. However, beginning April 1, the pantry has also invited residents of Redfield, Dexter and Linden to utilize their services, making their needs even greater.

“The effects of job and wage losses aren’t always evident immediately, as families sometimes have the ability to make it through short-term crises. But the longer things continue, the more likely it is that more families will find themselves in need of services they’ve not previously used,” Grace Lutheran Church Pastor Julie Higgs said.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the food pantry is temporarily unable to receive food donations unless they are in full cases. Instead, The Adel Food Pantry is encouraging monetary donations in lieu of food. The pantry has also shifted its operations so that volunteers pre-package bags and deliver them to the client’s car in order to limit contact.

“We’re very grateful to the community, including the Lions Club, for their generosity and understanding during these difficult times. However, we expect that the long-term effects of the pandemic will continue for some time after social distancing is no longer necessary,” Pastor Higgs said. “The pantry exists for times and situations like this, when all of us are pretty powerless in the face of larger economic factors at work. We aim to treat all people with respect and dignity, and view it as a privilege to have the trust of the community to serve people in times of some of their greatest needs.”