Local food pantries are getting a last minute boost of donations this week. This is the busy season for Hoosier Hills Food Bank. The shelves are stocked and organized food drives are dropping off donations every day. The organization, which serves 97 different agencies across South Central Indiana, relies on donations during the holiday season to last into the next year. But according to Executive Director Julio Alonso, high demand means the food might not last as long as in previous years.
“In years past,” he explains, “it used to last us until spring when we did our major letter carriers food drive in May. The last couple of years, the food we’ve been getting has been lasting only until February. We’re hopeful it will last at least a couple of months into the new year, but I just can’t be sure anymore.”
At the Monroe Community Kitchen in Bloomington, Director Vicki Pierce says people have been dropping off food and volunteering their time, but there is still work to be done.
“In looking past Christmas,” she says, “the food donations we are in most need of are canned fruits and vegetables. We do a fruit and vegetable every night at dinner, this is the time of the year that fresh vegetables are hard to come by.”
The Hoosier Hills Food Bank distributed more than three million pounds of food so far this year, and the Community Kitchen serves more than 1700 different people every year, and has already served more than 200,000 meals.