Raise the Roof
Fundraiser Underway for Zionsville Food Pantry
Writer / Renee Larr
On November 19, the Zionsville Lions Club (ZLC) presented the Zionsville Food Pantry (ZFP) with a check for $10,900 to assist the pantry with its new facility. Currently, the ZFP operates out of classrooms in Zionsville Presbyterian Church. They are constructing a freestanding building on the church’s property, to be completed by the end of 2022.
The ZFP created a fundraising campaign called Raise the Roof to procure the $950,000 needed to complete construction. The pantry has served the local community for more than 30 years, and feeds 60 to 90 families per week. Various organizations have donated to the campaign, including the ZLC.
“This fundraising campaign was a real community effort,” says Catherine Coscia, one of 10 pantry coordinators. “Traditionally, in Indiana if you’re building a barn yourself, you would do the foundation work and then call in neighbors to put in the studs and raise the roof all together. We’re all working together.”
The current space is approximately 3,700 square feet, while the new building will be 5,400 square feet. In addition to having more space, the new facility will have 14’ ceilings to rack items not being used. It will also have a battery-operated door to better assist disabled clients.
“The money donated by ZLC is going toward a pallet jack and pallets,” Coscia says. “The money raised had to go toward a physical item rather than in a building fund. The pallet jack and pallets will help us streamline our process and make it less labor intensive.”
The ZLC has a personal relationship with the food pantry, and when the team was approached by the pantry staff about the fundraising campaign, they were more than willing to help. Several members volunteer their time each week, year round. The ZLC staffs the pantry every February.
“We raised $10,900 for their campaign at our events throughout the year,” says Ruth Kelly, ZLC president. “We put out donation receptacles at our Fourth of July celebration and our Fall Festival. We also applied for a $1,000 grant from the Indiana Lions Foundation.”
The all-volunteer organization has currently raised about $585,000 toward its goal. They’re still accepting donations for what Coscia calls a once-in-a-generation philanthropic opportunity. She says no one knows what the future holds, and that’s why the pantry’s mission is so important.
“What we do makes a difference in our local community,” Coscia says. “Many people are living close on the margin. All it takes is one trip to the hospital or one copay not to be able to make their rent payment or buy food. Many pay their rent because they have to have a place to live but can’t afford to buy food. The support of the community stays right here in our community.”
The pantry sends recipients home with approximately $80 worth of food per visit. During the holiday season, that number increases. The pantry is open on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. The current address is 4775 West 116th Street in Zionsville. For more information, visit zpc.org/serve/zionsville-food-pantry.