LONGVIEW — Lower Columbia College students struggling to afford groceries can get help in the form of Winco gift cards donated by the United Methodist Churches of Longview, Kelso and Castle Rock.
Allison Mattocks, pastor of the Longview congregation, said the churches came together to apply for a grant from the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. The three churches raised $2,000, which the Pacific Northwest Conference emergency COVID-19 fund will match.
Mattocks said she, Pastor Vonda McFadden of Kelso and Pastor Harriet Wilkin in Castle Rock got the idea because they were concerned about international students who might get stranded in America with borders around the world closing.
“We’re aware of the challenges that have been presented by COVID, and we’re aware of the food pantry that is regularly used by students when the campus was open,” Mattocks said. “We just thought, we wonder what’s happening for LCC students?”
The $50 gift cards are distributed through the LCC food pantry and by the office for international students, and Castle Rock students also have the option of picking up the cards in Castle Rock from Pastor Harriet Wilkin.