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Hospital’s mobile food bank meets growing demand


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Donations from the Jennings County community last year helped St. Vincent Jennings Hospital's annual mobile food pantry serve 400 families and more than 1,000 individuals. / Submitted photo
Donations from the Jennings County community last year helped St. Vincent Jennings Hospital's annual mobile food pantry serve 400 families and more than 1,000 individuals. / Submitted photo


St. Vincent Jennings Hospital’s pantry will hand out the items from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the National Guard Armory, 910 N. Madison Ave. in North Vernon. No proof of income or situation is required to receive assistance.

“This is for all kinds of people, anyone who needs a little help this Christmas. Older people, young people, families and single people. They are all encouraged to come and they are all welcome,” said St. Vincent Jennings Hospital Chaplain Colleen Malone.

Last year, the mobile food pantry provided more than 400 parcels of food and cleaning supplies. According to annual reports, requests for assistance from local help agencies are up more than 10 percent this year.

“We are close to meeting the goal of serving as many as last year, but we are expecting more this year and we need more donations,” Malone said.

Donations of money, food and cleaning supplies are preferred by Friday, but will be accepted Saturday, Malone said.

Some local businesses have made donations that have put the hospital’s pantry closer to meeting the expected need, she added.

Though Gleaners Food Bank donates food, the mobile food bank is especially in need of fresh vegetables, fruit and other perishables, Malone said.

Anyone wishing to donate food, toiletries or cleaning supplies items can take them to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital. People also can take donations to the National Guard Armory on Friday.

Though several high school athletic teams, volunteer fire departments and youth church groups already have volunteered, more help is still needed.

“We are also in need of more volunteers for both Friday and Saturday,” Malone said.

Volunteers are needed to help pack and display the donations for distribution, and to help distribute the goods.

“We’ve done this for several years and we always have a lot of fun doing it. Both the people who serve and those who are served seem to enjoy doing this. It’s a time when Jennings County people just come together to make it happen. It’s one of the reasons I love this community,” Malone said.

If you go

What: St. Vincent Jennings Hospital’s annual mobile food pantry.

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Where: At the National Guard Armory, 910 N. Madison Ave. in North Vernon.

Why: Anyone in need of assistance with food. No documentation is required.

For more information or to volunteer: Call 812-352-4415.

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