By Features Editor Pam Robinson.
According to Erin Hollinger, director of the Mount Vernon Food Pantry, food orders there have increased by 60 percent this year. Likewise, Cathy Winternheimer reports that 41 percent more families are seeking help from God’s Storehouse, the food pantry located on the St. Peter’s United Church of Christ campus in Wadesville. Fortunately, Mary Beth Gerard reports that New Harmony Food Pantry is keeping up with client demand. At any rate, these organizations provide only a three-day emergency supply of food once a month to those in need. Hunger pangs gnaw at some of our neighbors.
So I’m throwing down the gauntlet at the feet of my readers. I challenge all of you who are financially able to make a monthly donation of $25 to the food pantry nearest you, whether the Mount Vernon Food Pantry or God’s Storehouse. My family has made this commitment to the Mount Vernon Food Pantry.
The Posey County News has included a donation form in this issue for our readers’ convenience. Donor names will be listed, unless a request to the contrary is made, in a follow-up column a couple of weeks from now.
Of course, many possibilities exist for helping out our local food pantries and making a difference in a family’s life in addition to pledging a monthly monetary donation. A one-time monetary gift is greatly appreciated also.
Like Mount Vernon resident Una Kuhn, we might request gifts of canned foods in lieu of presents for our birthdays. She collected four grocery carts full of food at her recent 80th birthday party. (To learn more about Una, turn to this week’s Good Neighbor feature.) Likewise, we can request canned foods in lieu of anniversary presents.
Erin Hollinger, director of the Mount Vernon Food Pantry, enjoys telling about the success of a Cub Scout group who offered baked goods in exchange for a donation. Lucas Medley and his friends collected several food items plus almost $900 in a matter of five hours, a couple of hours each on two spring mornings.
Local businesses can help in their own special ways also. Recently, the Shrode Agency in Mount Vernon issued a community challenge and matched every two dollar donation with a dollar, up to $1,000. Other companies might consider a similar community-wide challenge.
Or instead of charging admission to events, a business might accept a full bag of non-perishable food items—around 20 items. Businesses can offer discounts or perks to its clientele in exchange for food donations as well.
In this economy, we all need to stick together. Given unemployment or underemployment or major illness, any of us might need to prevail on emergency food services. While I can help, I want to do so. My monthly donation won’t bust the bank at our house right now. It won’t end world hunger either, but it might just satisfy the hunger of one child or adult in my community.
There, but for the grace of God, go I.
By Features Editor Pam Robinson.
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