For more than 10 years, clients of F.I.S.H Food Pantry have been welcomed by a familiar face.
Ellen Simpson, full-time volunteer recently named coordinator of the Crawfordsville public food service, has been named a recipient of the Journal Review’s Shining Star award for her unwavering service to the community.
“I love what I do,” Simpson said while stocking shelves at the pantry. “It’s worth every second of every day.”
Simpson added that she would not be able to work full time at the pantry without the support of husband Brad and sons Thomas, Austin and Elijah.
“There’s always lots of opportunities to serve in various areas,” Simpson said. “My husband is my sidekick. He puts in time when he’s not working; he carries a full-time job. And then I have older boys who step in from time to time. It’s important for them to have something to do and learn how to give back to the community.”
Those helping Simpson along the way have been equally as vital to the success of the pantry, she said. Unfortunately, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken one such volunteer in Richard Bland this month.
“He was our world,” Simpson said, noting Bland’s diligent work ethic in the face of underlying health conditions. “When you’re here, you’re family. We all work together as one big family, and we truly are. That was a devastating blow.”
But the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry will push forward, Simpson said, continuing to support members of the community in need.
“It’s a great place to serve because you’re always hands-on and you’re with people ... and you get to know the clients,” Simpson said. “I just have a passion for this. I always have.”
The food pantry is open 3-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9-11 a.m. Wednesday and is located at 1306 E. Main St. behind St. Bernard Catholic Church. Donations are also accepted during these times.
For more information, call the church at 765-362-6121 or visit www.montcares.org/categories/food-assistance.
Look for stories on additional recipients in upcoming editions of the Journal Review.