PORTAGE - The Portage Township Food Pantry, in partnership with the Portage Township Trustee’s office, has distributed food to nearly 1,800 Portage Township residents since the COVID-19 pandemic crisis began last month.
That’s approximately five times as many individuals served during the entire month of February, said Bobbie DeKemper, food pantry director, adding she sees the demand for food assistance continuing to increase as job losses mount during the pandemic.
Since March 20, the pantry has held seven distributions over the course of three weeks. DeKemper said 1,777 individuals within 642 families have received assistance. Of those, 309 were senior citizens. In comparison, she said, 345 individuals within 160 families were served during the entire month of February.
Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy is assisting the pantry due to the increased needs of township residents. Township employees have been assisting in helping operate the pantry and with food distributions.
In anticipation of the increased demand, the pantry also expanded its distribution dates from once to twice each week. Residents are also allowed to receive assistance once a week instead of once each month and prequalification screening has been put on hold. Portage Township residents only need to show proof of residency through a driver’s license or state-issued identification card to receive a food distribution.
In addition to assisting in food distribution, Clancy said his office has also adopted policies to make providing assistance to Portage Township residents easier during the pandemic crisis, including making assistance applications available online on the trustee’s website at https://www.portagetrustee.org/
How to help
The food pantry is in need of both monetary donations and non-perishable food items.
Food and monetary donations can be dropped off at the pantry, 3590 Willowcreek Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Checks can be mailed to the Portage Township Trustee’s office, 3484 Airport Road, Portage, IN 46368. Checks should be made payable to the Portage Township Food Pantry.
Food items needed include dried or canned beans; canned fruit; canned meats; canned soup; canned vegetables; cereal; condiments; instant potatoes; jelly; biscuit/cake/muffin mixes; macaroni and cheese; pasta; peanut butter; pudding and Jell-O mixes; ramen noodles; rice and rice side dishes; spaghetti sauce and any non-perishable items.
For more information
For more information, visit the Portage Township Trustee’s website at https://www.portagetrustee.org/; Portage Township Trustee’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/portagetownship/; Portage Township Food Pantry’s website at http://www.portage-food-pantry.org/ or the Portage Township Food Pantry’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Portage-Township-Food-Pantry-280379475779/