Bethlehem Lutheran Church is sponsoring a chili fundraiser to benefit the East Texas Food Bank Backpack program. It's a worthwhile program that

In cooperation with the Kiwanis Club of Palestine, church members invite the community to join them for their 13th annual “Chili Friday” from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 31.

The dine-in menu includes homemade chili, voted “Best in Palestine,” chili dogs, or Frito pie with all the trimmings, drink, homemade dessert.

There will also be door prizes and a silent auction.

The carry-out menu includes choice of homemade chili or chili dog, Fritos or crackers, cheese and onions, a drink and dessert.

Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.

Lunch delivery runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for 5 or more orders. Call the church office at 903-729-6362, Tuesday thru Thursday, before noon to place orders.

All proceeds will be donated to the East Texas Food Bank Food Bank Backpack program. Through this program, the food bank partners with schools throughout its service area to provide food for children who participate in free and reduced price meal programs during the week, but are at risk of going hungry on weekends and holidays.

Teachers and staff help identify the students who are showing signs of hunger or malnutrition and discreetly distribute a backpack of food for them to take home.

The backpacks are filled with nutritious, easy-to-open food, including protein and fruit juices, that does not require stove-top cooking. Empty backpacks are returned by the student and refiled for the following weekend.

During the 2018-2019 school year, the East Texas Food Bank served more than 5,000 children across school campuses, distributing more than 187,000 backpacks.

The program typically runs 36 weeks.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is at 1515 South Loop 256, across from Palestine High School.

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