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Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter begins its 7th year

Easter Sunday is about celebrating resurrection and life, but this year it also marks the beginning of a ministry to feed hungry kids.  I think that Jesus would approve.
Tom Spence

Easter Services began before Sunrise. Some ran into the afternoon. Families dispersed to special dinners and yes, even to hunt colored eggs hidden in grass and trees in backyards everywhere. Oh what dissonance we Christians experience in shouting, “He arose!” in the morning and participating in such an enjoyable pagan festival in the afternoon. But such is not the topic of this article.

Something else transpired today.

Something that marked those who followed Jesus as his disciples began once again.

Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter kicked off without fanfare or ceremony today. Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter is not the name of a rock band or the title of a hit Country and Western Song.

It is the food drive conducted by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma every year for the past 6 years. The food drive is targeted at younger children in the Burns Flat and Dill City area who are home alone for the summer.

Why Pop Tarts (or Toast’ems or the store brand equivalent) and peanut butter?

These are very “kid friendly” foods. Most children can make a peanut butter or PB&J without adult supervision. Pop Tarts can be eaten cold.

Why is this important?

Once school recesses for the summer months, many children will be left to fend for themselves at home. This means looking out for their own safety, staying out of mischief, and finding something for lunch. When school is in session, many children rely upon the lunchroom for 1 or 2 meals each weekday. That equation is drastically altered in the summer.

Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter and the more recent addition of Chewy Tuesdays are two local ministries aimed at feeding hungry children with simple meals and snacks as well as the bread of life.

FAQs

How do I get my kids Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter?

Just stop by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church during June 2014 and talk to Tom.

How can I donate to Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter?

These two food items may be dropped off at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat from now through the end of June.

What if I want to donate money?

Just stop by the church or send a check made payable to Cumberland Presbyterian Church (P & PB) and we will do the shopping for you. The address is CPC, PO Box 8, Burns Flat OK 73624.

Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter doesn’t sound like a balanced diet to me?

This ministry is not designed to supplant the parental responsibility of feeding their children a healthy diet. In fact, all of our ministries are purposed to equip parents and families. Enabling the continuation of unhealthy habits is never a ministry objective. Creating a dependence upon a ministry is never an objective.

Yes, kids need more than Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter. If families are struggling with buying healthy food on a tight budget, they should also consider signing up for Chewy Tuesdays. While these meals are always something simple, they also include fruit, something that we have found most children don’t get much of at home.

Why does this congregation do this instead of leaving feeding the hungry to the government?

Because we are committed to being God’s love in action. We are called to love one another and to care for the least of these by our Master. It is not really what we do, but who we are. We are the body of Christ and take his light and love to the world around us.