2018-09-05 / Front Page

Collaboration fights food insecurity in Putnam County


Fair Board President, Gary Stevens (also representing New Life Baptist Church), presenting Evonne Canary, New Providence Baptist Church; Lauri Neeley, Faith, Hope & Love Food Pantry; and Claudia Butler, Non Food Pantry at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, all members of the Putnam County Food Pantry Coalition, with their portion of the money raised through participation in the FAIRs Care Program. (Courtesy Photo) Fair Board President, Gary Stevens (also representing New Life Baptist Church), presenting Evonne Canary, New Providence Baptist Church; Lauri Neeley, Faith, Hope & Love Food Pantry; and Claudia Butler, Non Food Pantry at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, all members of the Putnam County Food Pantry Coalition, with their portion of the money raised through participation in the FAIRs Care Program. (Courtesy Photo) Indiana currently ranks 26th in the nation for food insecurity. In Putnam County, 45 percent of food insecure people do not qualify for other nutrition programs such as SNAP or WIC. To help battle these alarming statistics, the Putnam County 4-H Junior Leaders, Purdue Extension, the Putnam County Fair and 4-H Association, and the Putnam County Food Pantry Coalition teamed up during the summer months.

The Putnam County 4-H Junior Leaders took the lead by applying for the Indiana 4-H Takes a Bite Out Hunger grant sponsored by the Indiana 4-H Foundation and a Putnam County Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Grant to encourage individuals to donate food items. Then the Purdue Extension Staff, the Putnam County Fair and 4-H Association, and the Putnam County Food Pantry Coalition participated in the FAIRs Care Program. Through the FAIRs Care Program, individuals were able to make a donation to the Food Pantry Coalition and receive tickets to and sponsored by the Indiana State Fair in appreciation for the donation.


4-H Junior Leaders, Philisha Sanders, Sydney Moore, Kedrick Coon, Kelsey Moore and Megan Arnold, sort food prior to distributing the estimated 3,500 collected for local food pantries. (Courtesy Photo) 4-H Junior Leaders, Philisha Sanders, Sydney Moore, Kedrick Coon, Kelsey Moore and Megan Arnold, sort food prior to distributing the estimated 3,500 collected for local food pantries. (Courtesy Photo) Through these two programs, $2,360 was raised and an estimated 3,500 pounds of food and non-food items were collected. These items were distributed to food pantries within Putnam County on Aug. 17. Thank you to those who joined in on the collaboration and supported the Indiana 4-H Takes a Bite Out of Hunger Grant and the FAIRs Care program in 2018.

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