Estherville Community Dinners History and Legacy

Thank you to everyone who has participated in Estherville Community Dinners.

Estherville Community Dinners was started in 2017 by Sarah Morphew and Amy Peterson, and organized by Sarah Morphew. (until Covid 19 temporarily shut it down in 2020)

To feed people and to bring the local community together were the goals.

Hunger and food insecurity are real problems in the world.

From 2012-2016, 19.5% of Emmet County residents under 18 years of age were living in poverty, meaning their household did not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. 17.3% of children were food insecure.*(*Source: Poverty And Food Needs, Emmet County, Iowa, IA State University) It’s expected that number has increased during the pandemic.

So hosting free community meals seemed like a great opportunity to help fight food insecurity while bringing our community together.

Amy wanted to do a service project and raise awareness of food insecurity in alignment with her play, The Feast of Jovi Bono. Sarah had already been working on ideas for community meals, so when they got together it took off.

They visited Pastor Rick Porter at the Okoboji community dinners and he became Sarah’s main advisor for putting together the Estherville Community Dinners. The Estherville meals were modeled after the lakes free dinners, which were modeled after Spencer’s free dinners.

Additional past advisors include Pastor Cole McCormick of Trinity Lutheran Church, Kathy Preston of Emmet County Public Health, Joseph May the Avera Mission Director and Mayor of Estherville.

Since the 2017 launch of Estherville Community Dinners, the churches of Estherville, Avera Holy Family Hospital, and the Estherville VFW have provided funds and volunteers to support Estherville Community Dinners and have served thousands of meals to our community.

The VFW has now officially taken over the Estherville Community Dinners for the foreseeable future.

For more information on how you can help, contact the Estherville VFW.

$3 provides a single meal and $600 will typically cover an entire night of meals.

Thank you for your years of support.