FeedingTeam Nourishes Stomachs and Souls founders Mark and Lisa Hall shared the inception, mission, and impact of the many yellow food pantries that dot the landscape of Hamilton County and a few other places at last Saturday’s meeting of the Cicero Kiwanis Club. These 24/7, 365-day food pantries offer nonperishable goods to anyone who is running short of food, operating on the concept, “Take What You Need, Give What You Can.” The pantries are especially meant to serve gap families—those who are one problem away from food insecurity, such as major car repair, hospital bill, or unexpected expense. The Hall’s focused on this group because they’ve been a gap family.

Early in their marriage, they often found themselves out of money and food on the Thursday before their paychecks came out the next day. They worked; they planned, but things happened. There were many times that the only supper in their pantry was a potato and a can of Dinty Moore stew. Their lean times were never forgotten as their circumstances changed, and eventually they formed to help others as they’d been helped. Obtaining permission in the 1990’s to place the wooden pantries was not easy. “We heard about 100 ‘no’s’ before ever getting a ‘yes’,” recalled Mark. “The Noblesville FOP was the first to say ‘yes’!”

These bright, yellow pantries are funded by 1-1.25% of the Halls’ businesses and donations. Seventy regular volunteers tend to the pantries, with occasional help from area residents. Feeding Team has no paid employees. Currently, HHHS educator Eric “Fish” Fisher and 60 students are building 11 new feeding team pantries and hope to build more.

This project gives students an opportunity to do a real hands-on project while serving their community. As a recent volunteer described work with the Feeding Team this way, “Feeding others feeds our souls.” Anyone interested in volunteering, donating, or simply learning more about the organization may email Lisa Hall: