VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As of Thursday, there are 49 days until Thanksgiving and 80 until Christmas. But, for local charities, food insecurity is a year-round fight.
In West Terre Haute, the Providence Food Pantry serves around 3000 families annually. When asked what the number indicates, Jason Moon with the Sisters of Providence said, “it tells me this is a community in need.”
After a decline in people needing services, demand has increased again. Moon said since June, organizers estimate they are serving 45% of the entire West T community weekly.
“It’s an all-hands-on deck as often as possible. The organizers and volunteers are going and getting the food and getting it ready to go for Thursday,” Moon added.
The pantry is located off of National Ave. and is open from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays only. Moon said helping out West T is a ‘community effort’ as other non-profits pitch in by giving food, personal hygiene items and clothes. But more is needed.
“Organizers are going out getting food for Thursdays. There’s always the need for donations,” He said.
To drop off a donation, call 812-535-2544 to contact Sister Joseph and she will ensure someone is available to help.
Catholic Charities in Terre Haute hosts annual Thanksgiving and Christmas distribution events. This year, the organization has seen the price of turkey double due to inflation and the Avian Flu that hit multiple bird farms.
Assistant Agency Director, Jennifer Tames, said transportation costs have also increased.
“We recognize that’s inflation going to hurt all of us, but especially those that are living on a low income and maybe those who are food insecure as it is. Some maybe don’t have extra money to provide something like a turkey on Thanksgiving,” Tames said.
Monetary donations will help with the charity buying necessary supplies.
Around 500 families are expected to use Catholic Charities’ Christmas Store on 1440 Locust Street. It’ll be open for a limited time around Thanksgiving.
One shopper per household will be allowed in the store. Each head of the household must provide the following for each member of the home, a photo ID and if under 18, a birth certificate, social security card, or health insurance card.
Each household member will receive clothing, socks, underwear, toys for children or age-appropriate gifts for teens, personal hygiene and household items.
Only the head of the household will shop for items at a specific date and time to take items home to wrap and present on Christmas Day.
Families living in Vigo County must register in person on October 24-28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Evening registration will be available from Oct. 25, 27, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Volunteers are being sought after to help the store and assist shoppers.
“These are households who have just hit hard times so we’re happy to be here and offer them a place to shop,” Tames said.
The contact for the Christmas Store is Danielle Elkins at 812-232-4378 and press option 1.