NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A dozen bright yellow wooden pantries are popping up across Hamilton County, and the hope is they will help neighbors in Indiana’s wealthiest county who just need to make it to the next paycheck.
“How am I going to make it to Monday or how am I going to make it ‘til when my paycheck clears,” Creator Mark Hall explained. “This is what these are for.”
Mark and his wife Lisa own three businesses, TalentLogistiX, Tech Trades and PinPoint Resources. They wanted to adopt another corporate charity, and after lots of prayer, creating FeedingTeam.org seemed like the right fit.
“We would just run out of money before we ran out of month,” Mark explained of his and Lisa’s early married life with two young children. “That’s just the best way to say it. We’d get to Thursday and paycheck comes on Friday or sometimes on Saturday. We didn’t know anything about food pantries, we were both working full time. There were several nights where supper was a can of Dinty Moore beef stew and a baked potato.”
Today, a portion of every company sale goes toward the building and stocking of a dozen food pantry boxes around the county. The first ones opened up to the community right as the pandemic hit.
“Take what you need, give what you can,” Mark said of the heart behind the mission. “Understand there is nothing wrong or embarrassing about asking for help. We all need help from time to time.”
The pantries are open 24 hours a day, 365 days each year. Here are the locations:
The pantries are built by students at the ABC Prep Academy at Ivy Tech, under the supervision of Bill Keevern. The students do this work as a service project for their community.
“It really meets the need right at the basic level,” Keevern said. “It’s people giving then people who have a need, that short-term need was the intent, to help them through a crisis and I love that.”
Keevern’s students recently completed an additional three pantries and will start on a fourth one. Mark and Lisa said their goal is to have 20 feeding families by the end of summer.
Mark said he is thrilled the idea is spreading across the country too! A team in New Mexico is interested in building one in their community, and two others are going up in Tulsa, OK.
“We’re just hanging on,” Mark exclaimed. “God’s just laughing. We’re just hanging on!”
If you would like more information about volunteering and donations, visit feedingteam.org.