"We didn't know what to expect," said Wendy Pearl, one of the organizers of the food pantry. "But it's been an exceptional year."
Though times have been tough, Two Fish has remained tougher. Through food drives hosted by the North Putnam schools, Putnam County Public Library, Bainbridge Post Office and others, the doors to the food pantry have been able to stay open.
"The community has really stepped up for us," said Pearl. "We have been able to serve over 100 families in the past year."
When pantry clients arrive, they enter through the back door on the north side of the church, 402 E. Washington St., and are greeted by a volunteer. The first step is to fill out an informational card with name, address, phone number, number of days of need and size of family, which helps determine the need.
Based on the provided information, a point value is assigned and the client "shops" with those points. Each item has been given a point value and clients may spend points as they choose.
"It's been very fulfilling," said Jeff Fordice, an organizer of the food pantry. "Our goal is to have nobody that needed us."
Starting May 1, the food pantry will have a change in hours. It will be open from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday. Patrons can now call 522-FISH to reach an automated system for hours.
Being located in Bainbridge Christian Church has offered a central location for the food pantry, and the church has provided support. The pantry is also supported through the Everlasting Foundation, which is a non-profit organization established by Pearl.
But with the economic downturn, food and monetary donations and volunteers are always needed and welcomed. Anyone interested in volunteering may call 317-371-9987.
The food pantry services the North Putnam school district, which includes the townships of Clinton, Monroe, Floyd, Russell, Franklin and Jackson. The only requirement is to be a resident of one of those townships.
"No one gets turned away, though," said Fordice.
The Everlasting Foundation will also offer a summer day camp for kids throughout the North Putnam school district. Nearly 90 children participated last year, and the camp will be provided as a free week of camp, childcare, recreation and character building.
Called "Survivor with Character," the camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 14 through 18 at Heritage Lake, with transportation provided at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. There will be a central location designated for children to meet in the morning and will be returned in the evening.
For more information or to volunteer for the camp, contact Cindy Huddleston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-6338 or Julie Mitchell at 720-3605. Permission slips will be going home with all North Putnam students.