Valparaiso Churches Partner With The Food Bank Of Northwest Indiana For Massive Food Drive
On May 18th, from 9am to 9pm, volunteers from Life Bridge, New Song Fellowship and Portage Christian Church will be collecting food donations outside of the Valparaiso Town and Country and Al’s Supermarket in South Haven. The volunteers are a part of the Feed the Need food drive benefiting the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. The churches have held the drive for the past seven years, and have partnered with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana for three years.
Volunteers stand outside the stores and pass out flyers listing essential food items that pantries and soup kitchens are always in need of like peanut butter, tuna, pasta and canned goods. Shoppers can then purchase these items inside the store and donate them to the volunteers on the way out. In 2012 the drive was held at the Valparaiso and Portage Town and Country. All the items that are collected through the food drive will be donated to the Food Bank. Last year we collected 8,263 lbs of food and toiletries between the two locations.
"Life Bridge began the Feed the Need project about seven years ago to help a local homeless shelter," explains the event organizer Jeni Bolton. So why did they decide to partner with the Food Bank this year instead of the shelter? "In working with the Food Bank for ‘500 Turkeys’ I knew they reached a larger area and could help more people in need. The homeless aren’t the only ones hurting and in need of assistance these days. With so many people out of work, rising costs and limited resources, we felt this was the best way to reach out and help."
Chanda Dixon, Hope Project Coordinator for the Food Bank, is excited about the possibilities of the drive. "We're very excited to be working with Feed the Need again. They're a great group of people who really work hard to make a difference for hungry families in our communities. Food drives like theirs really help keep the Food Bank stocked, so we're extremely grateful to Feed the Need and to everyone who donates." Dixon explains.
Life Bridge Christian Church, Portage Christian and New Song Fellowship are partnering with other organizations to make this even a success. "This event serves a lot of different purposes. We are serving the Food Bank, who serves others in need. We are serving the community by spotlighting a resource they might not have known of before. We are also giving the customers an opportunity to serve and give back. A lot of people would like to reach out and give to their community, but they just don’t know how or where. This will make it easy for them, and maybe it can start a positive cycle of service to others," says Bolton.
The Valparaiso Town and Country is located at 1605 Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso and Al’s Supermarket is located at 392 West US 6 in South Haven.
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is located in Gary and supplies food to over 100 pantries and soup kitchen in Lake and Porter Counties. In previous years the Food Bank distributed over 4.9 million pounds of food.