The graduations are coming to a close, schools are finishing and summer fun begins. The financial pressures of heating are gone replaced by trying to find ways to stay cool. All of these transitions are good but may present challenges. Working parents now must provide full-time care of their children and feed them meals that the schools provided. Many grandparents step up to help and try to stretch their dollars to feed the grandchildren while they are in their care.
What this means for families is that the care and support that school provides shifts to parents full time. Our food, clothing and linen banks see these transitions happen first hand. The 350-400 households the food bank serves each month now experiences more demand. Each family is allowed two visits per month but what is available on the shelves varies. They are allowed one meat per visit so with two for the month you can see they are trying to supplement diets with all kinds of other food. Our efforts are constantly challenged as the visits fluctuate during a month based on when people receive a paycheck.
Last month I focused on our communities ability to grow foods that could be shared. It is my hope that plants are in the ground and over the next couple months we will begin to see the vegetables and fruits come through the door. Our clients look forward to this sharing. Many people live in apartments so their ability to grow their own food is an issue.
This month I want to delve into the financial needs of FISH. Most of the money we receive comes from individuals and churches. People give what they can and like the post office collection in May varied amounts of support arrive at our doors.
What we saw recently was a welcome change through the support of one of our major corporations in Montgomery County. Nucor Steel learned of our need for significant financial support and stepped forward with an impressive donation for the purchase of food in the amount of $10,000. Since the majority of our money needs to be spent on food we really have felt the impact. However, when you think about the cost of providing food for 350-400 households for just one month you can see our concern.
Other recent events have shown we need strong support to maintain the quality and quantity of our food program. On the same day we received a generous gift of 500 pounds of frozen salmon from St. John’s church one of our three freezer units went out of service. We monitor closely all our food safety protocols and needed to seek community support to handle this wonderful gift appropriately. We have resolved the problem with help from many but at a financial cost for repair. We know the next issue is just around the corner.
This county is filled with prosperous, successful corporations that could step forward to help if they recognize the need. Small businesses and large corporations can do their part each proportional to their income. Employing people in our community is critical to our success but so is the support of the working poor, elderly pensioners and children. It is my hope that the Nucor gift becomes a catalyst for other corporations to reflect on what they can do to help. We would be most willing to publicize the generosity of each business that steps forward. The community at large will view this as a united support of life in Montgomery County.
Please contact us at P.O. Box 261 in Crawfordsville. Every donation matters.
Linda Cherry is president of FISH. She contributes a column each month to the Journal Review.