GREENCASTLE -- With the winter season approaching and continuing economic challenges looming, an unusual team of organizations has stepped up efforts to secure locally harvested food for those needing it most in our community.
Local Food for Neighbors in Need, an association including local churches, social service agencies and sportsmen mobilized by the City of Greencastle's Commission on Sustainability, has already guaranteed 2,000 pounds of ground venison for participating food pantries. The effort is on track to surpass the 3,000 pound-result yielded during the winter of 2009-10.
After helping create the program last year, the local chapter of Quail Unlimited continues to be a key partner by both hunting and donating deer processing fees. "Quail Unlimited chapter 117 sportsmen are happy to renew our support to provide venison again this year. We are honored to be included in the Local Food for Neighbors in Need effort," said Quail Unlimited Secretary Lynn Wilson.
New to the Local Food for Neighbors in Need program is Walmart, which is initially helping to sponsor processing costs for 1,000 pounds of venison. Walmart has made funds available through its nationwide "Fighting Hunger Together" program. The Walmart Distribution Center has also offered volunteers and vehicles to assist in transporting meat from processors to food pantries.
Jim Rempe, coordinator of the New Providence Baptist Church Food Pantry, helped distribute a majority of the program's food last year and picked up the first allotment of this season's venison on Friday. Rempe said, "We continue to be blessed by Local Food for Neighbors in Need. I want to thank the hunters and processors for making it possible. The meat really goes fast and is deeply appreciated."
A limited supply of donated deer processing fees are available to any sportsmen wishing to participate in this program through Deer Creek Deer Processing in Greencastle (765-653-2525) and at Roger's Customer Butchering in Brazil (812-442-6328).
This deer season's drive follows last summer's growing season, during which local farmers and gardeners, including those from the Downtown Farmers' Market and Greencastle Presbyterian and Greencastle Christian churches, began to secure fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables for participating pantries.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-720-0673 for more information on Local Food for Neighbors in Need.