New partnership creates Local Food for Neighbors in Need
GREENCASTLE -- Have you heard about the church pastor, the deer hunter and the college student who met last week?
That's not the set-up for a punch line, but actually part of a new partnership for a serious community cause -- Local Food for Neighbors in Need. Through this pilot program, more locally harvested produce and meat will be distributed through church pantries and agencies toward meeting the historic need for relief in these challenging economic times.
With the support of Quail Unlimited, Roger's Custom Butchering of Brazil and the DePauw University Bonner Scholar Program, approximately 1,000 pounds (or 3,000 servings) of locally harvested ground meat are initially planned for distribution through the A-Way Home Shelter, Putnam County Senior Center, New Providence Baptist Church and Fillmore Christian Church.
Beginning with archery season on Oct. 1, Local Food for Neighbors in Need will enable sportsmen to deliver deer to Roger's Custom Butchering of Brazil, where a limited number (26 to date) of deer processing fees are sponsored. Roger's Custom Butchering will then process, store and directly deliver the ground meat to participating pantries and agencies.
"Quail Unlimited saw this as a great way for sportsmen to help secure a fairly abundant local food source for those who need it most. We're excited to be among those starting Local Food for Neighbors in Need," said Quail Unlimited member Mike Henry.
Among the new program's distributing partners, New Providence Baptist Church has one of the largest food pantry operations in the county.
"This is not just about New Providence, it's about a community working together to help those that have a need. And this program will be a big help. Meat is one of the most difficult foods to get, and it always goes the fastest," pantry coordinator Jim Rempe said.
Although the pilot program's immediate focus is the opening of deer season, the opportunity to distribute fresh, local fruit and vegetables is also available. Produce may be delivered directly to the participating distributors, although growers are asked to phone ahead to ensure the food can be received, stored and used in a timely manner. Discussions are underway for gardeners to plan on intentionally growing produce for this program in 2010.
As demand for relief at local food pantries and agencies is higher than ever as a result of the recession, Local Food for Neighbors in Need creates an economical, nutritious and sustainable means of meeting the demand.
"Although the challenges we face are great, so is our community's response," said Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray. "This is another example of local citizens coming together to create innovative partnerships for meaningful community outcomes. My thanks go out to all of those involved."
Local Food for Neighbors in Need is the most recent result of "The Sustainable Greencastle Report: Environmental Solutions to Strengthen Our Community, Economy, Culture and Quality of Life." Created by more than 100 local citizens last spring, the report came out of the City of Greencastle's Community Forward Summit. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-0673.