Harvest Land Helping Bulldogs

We were recently approached by a community member who works with Bulldogs Helping Bulldogs, which is a group comprised of the 5 local Centerville Churches.  Prior to the pandemic, the churches were starting a cooperative focused on helping fund after school tutoring for families who could not afford it and to pay off lunch debt for students so they could continue to receive school lunches. When schools closed, they refocused their efforts to feeding students in need.

The Centerville school system received approval to provide 10 meals a week through May 20th. They continue to work alongside schools to provide supplemental food during this school break and now provide fresh and pantry foods one time a week to cover the 11 meals per week not covered by the school.

The need for food has grown weekly and in order to provide supplemental food to over 400 students, their recent cost was approximately $1500. This money purchased fresh and pantry food from Gleaners food bank in Indianapolis.  As long as hungry students come to the distributions, they hope to continue to provide them with food through this time of crisis, but they’re running out of funds.

Harvest Land partnered with Land O’Lakes to contribute $1,500 towards Bulldogs Helping Bulldogs so these students could continue to receive meals for another week. As a farmer-owned co-op, we’re awfully passionate about feeding people, especially those in our hometowns.

If you want to learn more about the Bulldogs Helping Bulldogs program or to make a donation to ensure a meal for a child, we invite you to visit their Facebook page.

We’re operating with many unknowns in the world today, but one thing we believe strongly in is that no child should go hungry. We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes and Bulldogs Helping Bulldogs during this time to cultivate communities and keep kids fed.

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Hunger Knows No Season

On this week of Thanksgiving, Harvest Land and Land O’Lakes partnered to donate $2,000 to the Monthly Food Ministry organized by the Centerville United Methodist Church in Wayne County.

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We made a similar donation in 2018 during the warm summer months, but when the church reached out and said more and more families are in line every month and the need was again great, we knew we must help because hunger knows no season. 

Who Will This Donation Serve?

Since their first Monthly Food Ministry in September of 2017, the number of families they support has steadily increased. In 2018, they averaged 65 families a month, but in November of 2019, 91 families came through the door to receive assistance.

FOODBANK

They purchase food for the food ministry from Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and buying food for approximately 65 families costs around $1,000 per month. The vast majority of that cost has come from the faithful contributions of the members and friends of the Centerville United Methodist Church, but as their assistance numbers go up, so do costs to Gleaners. It only makes mathmatical sense that they must budget more dollars per month to purchase food from Gleaners, so our $2,000 contribution helps to fill that gap.

2019 Donation
Jared Martin, Harvest Land CFO, (front right) presents the check on November 25 at the church. 

The church keeps no record of where the families they serve come from as they want a completely open food ministry, but they do know that families are coming from Cambridge City, Pershing, Richmond, and elsewhere.

So, Where Will $2,000 Go?

100% of the $2,000 will go to purchase food from Gleaners for future Monthly Food Ministries. The food that the food bank pays for from Gleaners includes canned goods, boxed items, and other items that can be stored on the shelf.  Occasionally, Gleaners offers MotherEarthNews_FallVegetableHarvest_Oct_20131meat and dairy products (milk, butter, eggs, yogurt), but they are limited right now by refrigeration and are currently in the process of creating a “cold room” in the church food room.  This project should be finished sometime in December.  They also get produce from Gleaners, but produce is usually provided at no cost. While Gleaners is their main source of produce, it is not their only. They also get produce from local growers, the Amish auction in northern Wayne County, and the Community Garden at the ARC Center in Richmond.

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Have Food, Will Travel

When necessary, the Monthly Food Ministry will deliver, and every month there is at least one family that needs transportation. They revealed to us that last summer a lady and her two daughters walked a great distance from a trailer park to receive food. Rather than make her carry two or three heavy boxes/bags back on a busy highway, they loaded her up in a pick-up truck and transported her, her daughters, and her food back home.

Too often the food ministry group hears, “I don’t know what I would do without this food.”  Almost all of the folks receiving food are overly grateful for the assistance.

We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes to provide this hunger relief assistance in the Centerville area this holiday season.

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