Food for Life
The Food for Life program was started in 1983 by Lakeside Presbyterian Church and is a project to help address local hunger. As of 2003, about 135,000 pounds—or 67 tons—of processed meat has been distributed to over 31,000 people—or 10,000 family units. The animals from area farmers are received every Wednesday morning. The animals are unproductive or injured animals donated to Food for Life by area farmers. The animals are transported in a livestock trailer from Storm Lake to a butcher shop in Paullina, Iowa, where they are processed. The processed meat is then taken to the Upper Des Moines Opportunity office food pantry in Storm Lake and distributed to Buena Vista County residents who qualify under the poverty guidelines. Several men in the congregation and community provide pickup trucks to pull the trailer and to assist in transporting the animals and the processed meat.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Lakeside has sent adult mission groups from the church to assist with recovery after natural disasters. Recent trips have been to assist after tornado damage in Mapleton, work with the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for flood cleanup in Eastern Iowa, for the last four years we have sent work crews for week-long trips to work with PDA and Project Homecoming in the New Orleans area, and will be going to New Jersey this spring to assist with cleanup from Hurricane Sandy.
There are several community organizations who use our church facilities throughout the year. These groups include the Tops Club, Porcelain Artists, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts.
Southeast Asian Community
Lakeside has been actively involved with the Southeast Asian community in Storm Lake since 1975, when we sponsored the first Laotian family to help resettle them from the refugee camps. The Southeast Asian community has grown to be about 1,000 in population in our area, and several of them have been very active in our church. As part of the Southeast Asian ministry, we host an annual Christmas party that includes great food, fun, and fellowship.
Lakeside Presbyterian Church organized the first Storm Lake CROP Walk for Hunger in 1981. Annually, there is an average of 75 walkers who raise approximately $3,000 for hunger. 25% is given to the Food for Life program.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Buena Vista County is greatly supported by the leadership from our church in addition to financial support and many, many volunteers who give their time to build the houses in the Storm Lake area.