Commentary by Brad Thompson
Housed in the Zionsville Presbyterian Church, and operated with volunteers from the community, Zionsville Food Pantry distributes food to those in need every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. and each Friday from noon to 2 p.m. to serve residents of Boone County.
Many Boone County families lack reliable access to nutritious food. According to a 2014 report from SAVI, an economic research group created and managed by The Polis Center, Boone County has one of the highest childhood poverty rates in central Indiana and a food insecurity rate of 11.2 percent. Yet federal and state programs only go so far. For example, according SAVI, 31 percent of Indiana’s food insecure are not eligible for federal nutrition program and must depend on assistance provided by food banks.
The Zionsville Food Pantry helps to fill that void with food it obtains from Gleaners Food Bank and other sources, including grocery stores and community groups such as the Post Office, Ascension Health, local schools and Scouts that conduct food drives. The food pantry distributes that food through the efforts of dozens of volunteers. On occasion, other groups that serve those in need offer services, including the Lions Club which periodically provides free vision screening.
(Photos by Brad Thompson)