Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition Enhances Collaborative Efforts of the County
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
The Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition (HCFPC), established in 2006, is a non-profit based organization that works under and through the Hendricks County Community Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization. Created to enhance the collaborative efforts of Hendricks County food pantries, the HCFPC helps meet basic nutritional needs of residents and provides training and education to the affiliated pantries by working through its members and other support agencies.
Brandon Morphew, President of the HCFPC and Director of ALTHM Compassion Ministries, notes that the coalition doesn’t run the pantries but rather brings in organizations to give them information on how to assist guests with both food and health needs.
The Coalition consists of 20 food pantries, three pet food pantries and one personal hygiene pantry, located in all corners of the counties — from North Salem to the southern part of Plainfield, Stilesville to the far east side of Avon.
The biggest and most exciting change of this past year is the fact that the Coalition partnered with Gleaners Food Bank, which has led to direct donation pick-ups. This means that now in Hendricks County, instead of volunteers collecting frozen meat products from area grocers, Gleaners Food Bank picks up and distributes the food to one of the 20 pantries.
“Streamlining that process with the direct pick-up at these local stores means folks get fresher, higher quality products than in the past,” Morphew says. “Plus, we’re better able to keep the pantries stocked.”
The HCFPC is one of the 10 non-profit organizations that was represented at the Rockin’ Hendricks County event at Washington Township Park on October 7. The 21-and-older event featured yard games, food trucks, a silent auction, a live band and a bull riding competition where local “celebrity riders” climbed atop a mechanical bull and held on for dear life.
“I was one of 10 riders in that competition,” Morphew says. Other big names throughout the county are also rode, including Sheriff Clark’s wife, Kari Donald Clark, who represented the Indiana Youth Sheriffs Ranch. Indiana’s weatherman Paul Poteet also competed, as well as Indiana State Senator John Crane.
The biggest fundraising event the HCFPC holds each year is the Annual Superheroes Chili Cookout in Pittsboro where first responders (firemen and policemen) compete to win favorite recipe for soup, chili and cupcakes. This year the event will be held on November 19.
“The need [for food pantries] is greater today than it ever has been,” Morphew says. “Everybody has seen a huge increase in numbers, and it seems each year those numbers go up for free school lunches and such. Poverty is rising in the county, so we need donations.”
Morphew says canned meats and fruits are most seldom donated, but monetary donations are great because that enables pantries to purchase to their current needs.
To learn more about how to help, contact Brandon Morphew at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-869-3082.