The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Food pantry to open in Fayette 11.19.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

By the start of the new year, Fayette should have a top-notch food pantry, ready to serve those in need from throughout the area.

“It’s not just for Fayette,” said Bob Yano, who’s setting up the pantry with Don Stiriz and Elwyn Bates. “It’s open to everyone.”

That could include a trucker driving through town on U.S. 20 or a family in a nearby community that’s having trouble putting food on the table.

Yano and his wife have worked with food pantries in Toledo for several years, so they have a good idea of how a successful operation can work.

Yano intends to go beyond the usual small-town pantry that relies on donations of canned goods from area residents. Donations will still be essential, but he will also obtain food from the Northwest Ohio Food Bank located in Toledo.

“It’s meant to serve all of us in Northwest Ohio,” Yano said. “Certain foods are free; some cost 18 cents a pound. It’s a pretty good deal.”

Not just anyone can walk in and obtain food from the regional food bank, however. Federal tax-empt status is needed, so the new organization has incorporated as Fayette’s Helping Hands. Work continues toward obtaining federal 501(c)(3) status.

Don Stiriz has agreed to allow the pantry to be located in the former restaurant building that he owns in downtown Fayette. A walk-in freezer will be available to store meat from the Toledo food bank.

Yano had hoped to have the pantry open by Thanksgiving, but he soon realized that wasn’t going to happen due to required paperwork. He decided to wait until January for two reasons.

First, people are often very willing to help during the holiday season, but support typically falls off later and that’s when Helping Hands will fill the gap.

Additionally, Yano is hesitant to open the facility before the shelves are full.

“I don’t want to open the doors until we’re well stocked,” he said. “I want people to have a good first impression or they won’t be back.”

Yano will provide financial backing himself to get the project underway, but expects help from others will follow. He’s heard interest expressed from many people.

Elwyn Bates is contacting area churches for support and village administrator Amy Metz is hoping to get students involved.

Yano will speak with the managers of food stores in the region about obtaining donations. He’s heard some objections due to liability concerns, but he figures that can be cleared up through education. The federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to address the liability issue.

If butchering services can be arranged, Yano will investigate obtaining deer shot by hunters who don’t want to keep the meat, and injured, but healthy, farm animals.

Once the pantry opens, volunteers will staff the facility Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.

• The next meeting of Fayette’s Helping Hands is scheduled at 5 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Pizza Stop. Anyone interested in supporting the project is invited to attend.

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