Community to be commended for effort in feeding hungry

HUNGER is a significant issue in Bartholomew County.

Love Chapel, the largest local food pantry, each month feeds about 1,000 families. Also, the federal school lunch program helps families who would otherwise struggle to pay for meals for their children. More than 40 percent of Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s students qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Fortunately, local individuals, companies and organizations are rising to the challenge to meet this need.

Elizabeth Kestler, executive director of Love Chapel, recently said enough food in the county is available to meet the hunger needs of low-income families and individuals locally. That’s a tribute to people who have been generous with their time and money. About three-fourths of Love Chapel’s food and monetary donations come from local sources.

Fundraisers, food drives and donations have made it possible for the pantry to meet the hunger need. For example:

The annual CANstruction event, which takes canned goods and arranges them in creative displays, generates about 30,000 canned items to distribute to three local food banks, including Love Chapel.

Corporate food drives by local companies have resulted in substantial donations.

Local farmers have been generous in donating fresh produce.

Kudos to those who have focused on this issue and worked hard to make sure people don’t go hungry. That speaks well of the community and demonstrates care for fellow residents who need a helping hand.

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Local food pantries

Love Chapel

Address: 311 Center St., Columbus

Phone: 812-372-9421

Hours: 9 a.m. to noon Mondays to Saturdays

Online: columbuslovechapel.com

Salvation Army

Address: 2525 Illinois St., Columbus

Phone: 812-372-7118

Online: corps.salvationarmyindiana.org/columbus/

Pantry hours: 10 a.m. to noon Mondays; 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays; 5 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month.

Community Center of Hope

Address: 543 Washington St., Hope

Phone: 812-546-4499

Online: communitycenterofhope.org

Pantry hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays.