little Indiana likes to lend a hand wherever she can and particularly enjoys time spent at an Indiana food pantry. The organizing and sorting, filling out the shelves and seeing the food that you know is going to help someone out…it just feels good.
There are a few important things that you need to know when it comes to an Indiana food pantry in small Indiana towns and beyond.
How To Help Your Local Food Pantry
1. Government Funding is Down — Just when you think nothing else can get cut–the food pantry is now receiving less funding and goods than ever before. Now that people are in need now more than ever before, the food pantry has a strain on its resources.
2. The Food Pantry Needs More Than Just Canned Goods — Think toilet paper, paper towels, peanut butter, loaves of bread, your extra garden produce, and cereal. Especially cereal–this particular food pantry received its last shipment of cereal and won’t be getting any more–at least not from the government. Call or stop in your local food pantry to find out just what items they need.
3. Holidays — The food pantry doesn’t just need your help around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It needs your help ALL YEAR! Don’t just send along your dusty cans you never use. These are real people. These are your neighbors, co-workers, and friends who are too embarrassed to tell anyone around them that their circumstances have changed.
4. Food Pantry Myth — Think the food pantry is only used by single moms with 18 kids? Think again. The largest segment of the population (and what I certainly saw the times I have volunteered in distributing food) is used by the elderly! Yes, your grandma and your grandpa can no longer afford the cost of living and are using the food pantry. This both saddens and horrifies me.
5. Off Brands and Rejects— Please, don’t just give an Indiana food pantry your cast-offs and expired food. Expired food is pitched and the weird stuff will probably eventually meet the same fate. If you truly want to help, don’t reach for the off-brand of boxed mac n’ cheese or Ramen Noodles (seriously, those are often donated). That kind of stuff a struggling family already has–and are sick to death of eating it! What they don’t often have are things like canned fruit, instant oatmeal, and other nutritious items that just cost too much but are so important for a healthy lifestyle.
Food for ThoughtI’ll step off my soapbox now. I hope I have at least given you food for thought. By now, you should know how important “passing it on” is for me.
After all, it is the basis for little Indiana! If you have been blessed with plenty, why not share with those around you?
In this struggling economy, we can all use an extra hand! Whether you donate your time, money, or food items, know that it will be greatly appreciated.
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!
Just don’t forget to tell ’em that little Indiana sent you!
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