Honoring a Veteran’s Memory

Oak Hills Bible College students packaging ground beefIMG_0803

Oak Hills Bible Camp students help package ground beef for Bemidji Community Food Shelf

Just a year ago this month while shopping at Luekens Village Foods in Bemidji, MN, I came upon Joe Lueken. I shared with Joe an idea that had been percolating for some time. He asked, “What will it take?”
Four months later Luekens Village Foods issued this press release:

Luekens Village Foods Proud To Partner With Bemidji Community Food Shelf to bring Community Meat in Honor of “Deland”

Program to Fund and Provide Meat, Equipment and Training for Bemidji Community Food Shelf

Bemidji, MN, May 20, 2014—The Bemidji Community Food Shelf today received a $1,500 donation along with meat processing equiptment and training, from Luekens Village Foods. The gift helps the Food Shelf fulfill a need for purchasing meat and processing in-house to further stretch its giving and budget.

The Community Meat program is the collaboration of Wendell Affield and Joe Lueken. Mr. Affield’s close friend, Deland, a Vietnam Veteran, passed away in 1999. For the next 14 years, his widow and daughters struggled with homelessness. Mr. Affield provided them with meat from his home butcher shop. Over the years Mr. Affield came to envision a community-based program that would allow more people to acess meat through the Bemidji Community Food Shelf. “I am humbled that Luekens Village Foods has accepted the challenge to sponsor this project,” said Wendell. “During the many years I worked for Joe Lueken, he said, “Do what is right.” I am proud to see this philosophy continue to guide the now employee-owned Luekens Village Foods.”

Over the past eight months Luekens Village Foods along with the generosity of Luekens customers, have donated more than $6,000 to the Community Meats in Honor of “Deland” program. Thanks to Luekens Village Foods and the community we have processed 2,500 pounds of ground beef for Bemidji Community Food Shelf clients.
Sadly, Joe Lueken has passed away but his legacy of helping others lives on.


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