How To Help Your Indiana Food Pantry

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How To Help Your Indiana Food Pantry

How To Help Your Indiana Food Pantry 2

How To Help Your Indiana Food Pantry 2

The Indiana food pantry is in borderline crisis mode. The government has made cut-backs and more people than ever are needing its services!

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 Thought

How To Help Your Indiana Food Pantry

How To Help Your Indiana Food Pantry

I’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!

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By |2013-11-16T20:56:02+00:00November 18th, 2011|Creating Community, Extras, Little Towns|6 Comments

About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."


  1. Jessica Nunemaker July 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’ll be in touch. I’d love to help out with that if you can use me somehow!

  2. Brienne Hooker July 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for this post! I belong to a group that organizes a local food pantry benefit concert each year to help raise money and food. It is a thing that so many depend upon – and SO FEW people know about how easy it is to help. Thanks for taking your son too. We are all human trying to live.

  3. Jessica Nunemaker November 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks Liz. In this economy, it doesn’t take much for things to go from good to fine to EEK! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Eternal Lizdom November 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I’m pretty passionate about supporting food pantries. And about giving food to hungry families. I was a kid who knew hunger and that now drives me to help others.

    A post from last year:

  5. Jessica Nunemaker November 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks Jen! I feel very strongly about nutrition. Everyone, low income or not, should have access to healthy food! 🙂

  6. Jen V. November 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Great post – especially #5. I was thinking about posting something similar on my blog. I used to be a coordinator for a food pantry that worked with low income people with special dietary needs. I was one of the dietitians who talked to the people when they came in to receive their food. I was sickened sometimes by what we had to hand out to people because that was the donations we received. We had a lot of Mac and cheese and ramen noodles at our pantry too. While I understand that both are extremely cheap, they are absolutely horrible nutrition-wise and not at all what low income families (or anybody for that matter) need. So thank you for helping spread the message that people need to think about what they are donating.

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