United Way Spotlight

United Way Spotlight An agency which receives funding from United Way of Vermillion will be featured in this spotlight each week. The United Way of Vermillion Board of Directors wants the people of Vermillion to know more about the agencies that receive United Way funding and the services which they provide to the Vermillion community.

This week's featured agency is the Vermillion Food Pantry.

Who has not heard of "Old Mother Hubbard ? who went to her cupboard and found it bare?" Thankfully, most of us have not had that experience! We can usually find something for our families to eat even the day before payday. BUT, some homes in Vermillion have bare cupboards and hungry children.

Households in financial crisis often have bare cupboards. When we cannot feed our families the simplest of meals we are indeed hurting. That is when the Vermillion Food Pantry does its best job.

The Food Pantry is a community-based, non-profit facility located at 816 East Clark Street in Trinity Lutheran Church. The facility started as a very small one with just 100 people using its services in 1986. The pantry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 14 years.

Last year food was provided to 1,181 people. June and July were extremely busy this summer. Thus far this year, more than 600 people have been fed through the Food Pantry.

Food Pantry volunteers pass out food boxes all day on Thursdays and on Friday afternoons. If a family is in financial crisis, food can be obtained on other days by calling Social Services.

Our facility receives no city, county, or state funding. We are very grateful to the United Way for providing the money needed to purchase milk coupons for our families. The rest of our income comes from donations from individuals, church congregations, and service groups.

A food package for a family of four people contains 10 cans of vegetables, four cans of fruit, six cans of soup, four cans of beans, two kinds of canned meats, and two boxes of cereal. Food items such as mac 'n cheese, sliced potatoes, Hamburger Helper, bags of noodles and rice are added to the assortment of food items. Peanut butter, canned juice, dry milk, and crackers are put into these boxes. Frozen chicken and frozen bread products are included in the boxes at the time of pick up. Fresh fruits and vegetables are given when available.

Often a bag of personal care items such as small shampoos, soaps, a toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, and detergent are also put into the boxes. Coupons for milk or dairy products are given to the family, thanks to the United Way.

The Food Pantry has 55 volunteers who work in a variety of jobs. If you are interested in donating time or food to the Vermillion Food Pantry, please call 624-4442 and leave your name. If you should happen to have too much produce from your garden, we will be glad to accept clean, fresh garden vegetables too.

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