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Food pantry weathering strong holiday rush, need

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Volunteer Don Mundy puts away canned goods from the Putnam County Hospital Food Drive Monday morning at the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry.
GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry is hopping these days.

December is prime season for food drives, so the pantry is seeing its share of donations these days. The holidays are also a time of great need though, so the food quickly finds it's way out the door.

"It goes out faster than it comes in," food pantry president Judy Miller said.

Chad Wilson, Nikki Brueggeman and Bernie Timberman of DePauw Information Services make a donation to Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry volunteers Judy Miller, John Jackman, Linda Mundy and Don Mundy.
"There are more and more using the pantry all the time," Miller added. "We have already served over 400 individuals this month and expect to his 1,000 before the month's over."

The pantry is currently experiencing its first holiday season in its new location -- 620 Tennesse St. (behind Kentucky Fried Chicken) -- and the move has really worked in its favor.

When the pantry was still downtown in the Putnam County Senior Center, traffic, space and stairs were all problems. The two rented rooms at the Tennesse St. location are much more convenient for donors, volunteers and recipients.

"The location is great -- plenty of parking, nice storage space," Miller said. "We've got lots of room for the pantry. It's a great place to have it."

When donations come in, the food is carted to the back room, where it is sorted. Once the sorting is done, it's taken back to the pantry's main office, where it is stored until divided out for distribution.

The public area of the pantry includes racks filled with boxes with numbers on them. The number denotes the number of people the box serves. The food in each box should last for two or three days.

Miller said the pantry is always accepting donations. Areas of special need include vegetables, fruit, pork and beans, pasta, rice, soup (tomato, chicken noodle and vegetable) and cereal.

The pantry changed its hours last week. It is now open Monday from 9 a.m. to noon and Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pantry can be reached at 301-4431 or at its emergency number of 721-6228.

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Congrats on a very good story.

Keep up the good work in serving the hungry.

It is a pleasure to see the Pantry is busy and in good running order thanks to the many dedicated volunteers.

-- Posted by goodthoughts on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 2:30 AM

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