On July 10, the Ministerial Alliance of Chillicothe presented Chillicothe R-II Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Zack McMains with a check to pay the outstanding balance for all free/reduced-cost lunches for the Chillicothe School District.

"Our response is to represent Christ in our community. Our response is to show grace and love; our response must be Christ above any issues," said Pastor Jonathan Davis of Cavalry Baptist Church when he summarized the sentiments of the Ministerial Alliance concerning donating money to cover the unpaid balances of those on the reduced/free lunch program. The news that “Parents of Chillicothe students that have an unpaid balance for school lunches may find themselves in small claims court” galvanized all of the membership. On May 23, the Ministerial Alliance held a special meeting to discuss what could be done to help those in need.

Before the meeting, this year’s Ministerial Alliance President, Jeff Keck, contacted McMains, for an explanation of the policy and the amount of outstanding fees due for students on the reduced/free lunch program.

McMains, reported, the outstanding amount of $8,718.85, which had been accumulating for more than 10 years.

Every member agreed that the school district needed to be compensated; and that the poor need assistance.

Due to a generous bequest of over $650,000 to Operation Help, the Ministerial Alliance voted unanimously to make a one-time donation to pay the full amount of the outstanding balances of all free and reduced breakfast and lunch accounts effective May 25.

“The mission of Christ is to feed His sheep,” said Rob Hurtgen, pastor, First Baptist Church.

“The Ministerial Alliance is Christ’s hands and feet,” remarked Rosina Harter, Ministerial Alliance secretary and worship leader and parish administrator of Grace Episcopal Church. “We must act as Christ acted and feed those in need.”

The check was presented to the Chillicothe School District after they were sure that there were no more outstanding lunch fees for students through the 2018-2019 school year.

The Ministerial Alliance will continue to work with the Chillicothe School District on preventing the recurrence of outstanding fees.

The Ministerial Alliance has given washing machines to area schools, underwritten food for BackPack Buddies and given gifts to Hope Haven for Christmas. It also sponsors the Livingston County Food Pantry.