Humbled by Community Support

As a 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit that doesn’t accept government money, fundraisers are our lifeblood. Receiving private grants, corporate sponsorships and cash donations keep food moving through pantries in Hamilton County.

This past month we hosted the Feeding Team volunteer and host recognition dinner. Lisa and I were blessed to be a part of recognizing dozens of neighbors who volunteer hundreds of hours annually; sorting, stocking, cleaning, and maintaining pantries to provide thousands of meals each month. The community raised more than $7,000 to feed hungry neighbors. We continually are humbled by the community support for Feeding Team.

Special shout outs to Charity, Michelle, Rocky, Jeff, Bob, Shawn, Jon, the staff at The Mill Top, Nameless Catering, TalentLogistiX, JR Gaylor and EquipCon for making this event special and successful.

As has become our custom we told pantry stories. Stories of people whose paths cross someone from Feeding Team. An audience of almost 200 supporters listened to the small chapters of neighbor’s lives. We don’t use the real names of our neighbors. Folks like Martha who just had a kidney transplant and needed food before returning to work at her fast-food job. Like Beth, the daughter of an elected official, out of work and embarrassed that her situation would be discovered by her father. Like Bill, a Navy veteran who survives on pantry food plus his pension. Like Susan who lived through a frigid winter in her car with her boyfriend, surviving on food from the pantries until her life circumstances changed.

Jon Mobley wowed the crowd with table magic and followed that with an incredible stage show. It’s no wonder he is in such high demand and performs nationally now at large venues.

I am so proud of the team. They have hearts of gold and live to serve. I am so proud to live in Indiana where people care. I am so proud of the people of Hamilton County and how service and charity are integral in the fabric of daily life. I am convinced that Feeding Team is meant for times such as these, but also, specifically it’s meant for a place as special as Hamilton County Indiana. Thank you. With more than 44,000 food challenged neighbors in Hamilton County, is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides outdoor 24x7x365 no questions asked free food pantries throughout the county. The pantries exist, to meet the food insecurity needs of GAP families, neighbors who may not qualify for public assistance and could use a few meals before payday. The pantries serve as many food-challenged neighbors as possible, and our hearts are with those that, like my family, could not always make ends meet.

Thank you for supporting the pantries. We love serving with so many neighbors across Hamilton County. In future columns we will share more stories about how your generosity served neighbors in times of need. The face of hunger in Hamilton County is not what you may think.

In practical terms this straightforward way to help neighbors is having a real impact on lives, families, and our communities. Thank you. A few meals can change the course of a person’s life. A can of green beans means so much more when you have nothing to feed your kids. Would you like to get involved? Volunteer opportunities are available. We are evaluating new pantry locations. If you think you have a potential area location, please contact us.

– Mark Hall is a successful businessman, husband, father and grandfather. He is serving his first term on the Hamilton County Council.