AVON — The Duke Energy Foundation stepped up and donated $2,000 to the Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition with seasonal needs.
Steve Bahr of Duke Energy presented the check to the Rev. Steven Hamilton who serves as the president of the Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition. Hamilton is also the assistant pastor of the Grace Pointe Church of the Nazarene in Indianapolis.
“This will go to help 24 food pantries in Hendricks County,” Hamilton said. “The need for food pantry assistance has gone up 77 percent over the last three years.”
In 2011, food pantries served 34,061 people in Hendricks County. Then it 2012 it went up to 43,822 which was a 28.6 percent increase. This year the numbers are already up to 60,385, up another 37.8 percent.
Hamilton said the need at this time of year is always greater because of the holidays.
“This is the time of year when pantries are hit hardest,” he said. “People have so many holiday financial obligations that their budgets just don’t allow.”
He said so many people will reach out during the holidays that may be able to make it the rest of the year.
“There are so many people out there living paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “Many people are just one paycheck away from losing their home or being kicked out of their apartment. The needs are staggering.”
He said the coalition is designed to spread the food out among the pantries evenly so every community gets what it needs.
“In Hendricks County we share,” Hamilton said. “That’s not always the case in other counties. And Hendricks County is the only county in Indiana that has a coalition of its food pantries. Our goal is to help them with training so they can streamline their operations.”
Steve Bahr of Duke Energy was given the welcomed task of presenting the check to the coalition and foundation.