The Carmel United Methodist Church Food Pantry is celebrating 20 years of serving Hamilton County families, and the donors and volunteers who have made it possible.
The pantry moved in 2001 to its current location at the mission house on the CUMC campus. Before that, the church gave the pantry what space it could in its main building, according to coordinator Marty Hurst.
“It started in the church in a little hallway where you’d stand for the elevator,” she said.
Hurst, a CUMC member who’s been with the pantry since its beginning, said it started from a simple desire to “do something helpful for the community.”
“We discovered that what we really needed was a food pantry,” Hurst said.
The pantry now serves 200 families a month, giving them at least three sacks containing canned goods, peanut butter, cereal and paper products, among other items. All of the supplies given to families come from individual and business donors.
“We have some very good donors in Carmel and the area,” Hurst said. “Whole Foods has been wonderful to us … the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Panera Bread, Paradise Bakery, Marsh. The postal workers do a really good job for us. Grace Church also has a huge food drive that we are a recipient of part of. And then, of course, our congregation keeps us going. It takes up probably $2,000 every month to keep us going just in the supplies we need. But we have some wonderful donors.”
According to Hurst, the pantry only has two rules for those seeking assistance: they can only come once a month, and they must live in Hamilton County.
The pantry is always in need of donations, especially canned juice, soup and vegetables in a can, spaghetti and peanut butter, Hurst said. Those interested in donating can contact Hurst through the Carmel United Methodist Church, 621 S. Range Line Rd., at 844-7275.