Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#89: The Food Bank of Northern Indiana

This 17 year old South Bend organization re-opened its beautifully remodeled food pantry on the West Side today.  The ribbon cutting ceremony at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana honored the Notre Dame professor whose estate funded the renovation - which was finished just in time to serve the hungry for the holidays.  Philip L. Quinn PhD taught philosophy at Notre Dame and other universities for more than 20 years. He passed away in 2004, and the donation of his estate has allowed the Food Bank to give a newer and friendly look to their central location.  

The Food Bank of Northern Indiana is a very impressive operation.  The renovated location holds one of the affiliated pantries, the Community Food Pantry of St. Joseph County, but the Food Bank distributes food to 185 member agencies in Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Starke, and St. Joseph Counties.  They aid more than 2,800 households each month, which adds up to more than 4 million pounds of food each year - all of which is provided to patrons at no cost.  Another interesting aspect of the food pantry on the West Side of South Bend is that they are 100% client choice, meaning patrons can select the goods that they prefer or have the greatest needs for, instead of restricting the number of soup cans, cereal boxes, or toiletries per person.

Today was its first day back in operation, and there were more than 100 people in line outside of the food pantry well before it re-opened its doors.  This reminded me how absolutely necessary it is to give what you can during the holidays.  Lines like this outside of charitable organizations, food pantries, and homeless shelters are unfortunately not uncommon - no matter what season it is.  I encourage you to use this Christmas season to renew your charitable commitment to our South Bend community by giving your time or money.  In order to help you find an organization that fits your interest or availability, we will feature a local organization or establishment that is known for its good work in the area each day until Christmas. Our list will obviously not be comprehensive so please email us at if you would like to suggest an organization or charity for us to write about.

Here are the details for donating time or money to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana:

Donate $ here

When: The Volunteer Center is open Monday-Friday from 9 am - 4 pm
Location: 702 S. Chapin Street, South Bend
Getting there: On TRANSPO bus route 14 (Sample/Mayflower) with a stop at the Food Bank

For more info, contact the Volunteer Department at 574-232-9986 Ext. 28 or

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