The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


April 17, 2013

St. John’s dishes up 3 million pounds

Food Pantry established in 2005

ANDERSON, Ind. — Going hungry. It’s a stark fact of life for too many people in Madison County.

While that’s a somber thought, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Anderson found cause for celebration this week. The church’s food pantry served up its 3 millionth pound of food to help a family in need.

“A lot of people say this is the only way they make it through,” said Phil Sveum, who cheerfully oversees the operation two evenings each month. St. John’s distributes food to about 375 families each time, no questions asked.

Monday night, Sveum and his small army of volunteers gave out 32,248 pounds of food delivered through the pantry’s partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana. People went home with bags filled with 15 items, including produce, bakery items, meat and more.

“We need food,” said pantry recipient Sharon Goodson of Anderson. “We make just enough money to pay the bills. We rely on these food pantries.”

John and Emma Cain of Anderson have been coming to the food pantry for years.

“They do a good job,” said Emma. “It helps out a whole lot.”

At a time when she was low on funds, Denise Pace of Middletown said, “They helped out a lot.” Pace now shows up at the pantry as a regular volunteer.

“I like talking to all the people. It’s fun,” said Pace. “It just makes you feel good.”

Pace is one of about 50 volunteers in Sveum’s faithful crew, more than half of whom are not St. John’s members. They give over 300 hours of service each month. The teamwork is obvious and jovial under Sveum’s direction.

The volunteers at the St. John’s food pantry have been combating hunger since February 2005. That year they distributed 69,973 pounds of food to 1,289 families. By 2011, St. John’s was serving just shy of 600,000 pounds of food to 7,878 households.

“There’s more people now seeking food assistance than any time we have ever recorded,” said Tim Kean, president and CEO of Second Harvest. And the fastest growing population of clients they are seeing is people who have jobs, but just can’t make ends meet. Kean said that one-third of the more than 20,000-strong food insecure population in Madison County makes too much money to qualify for government benefits.

During 2012, Second Harvest distributed 12 million pounds of food to about 70,000 people in the eight-county area they serve. That represents $18 million worth of food. Out of that, 2 million pounds valued at about $3.5 million were distributed in Madison County where 17 percent of the population is food insecure. Within Madison County, St. John’s is Second Harvest’s biggest operator in terms of pounds.

Second Harvest relies on local donors, retail partnerships, and the Feeding America network which serves 202 food banks around the nation to stock the shelves of the 30,000 square foot warehouse in Muncie. Anderson was home to Second Harvest for 23 years, before it moved to Muncie in 2007.

“We’re still very much a local entity,” said Kean.

The staff of 19 employees also relies on volunteers to get the job done. In 2012, Second Harvest logged 23,000 hours of volunteer time, from truck drivers to distribution.

“That’s how it happens,” said Kean. “To distribute 12 million pounds, it takes a lot of hands.”

The average agency distributing Second Harvest food pays 7 cents a pound for the shared maintenance fee, with an upper limit of about 18 cents a pound. Even though the cost sounds low, fundraising remains key to meeting all the needs. Second Harvest must raise $1.8 million each year to keep its end of the operation going. And monetary donations are critical for St. John’s food pantry.

“We need support in order to continue it. We’ll always have it, but may have to do less,” said Sveum. “I hope we can get some contributions.”

Text Only
  • FEA - HB0420 - Cross carrier - JC 2 Crossing over to Christianity

    Tim Hanshew lives by 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” For the past six years, he has shared that power by carrying a large wooden cross throughout Anderson.

    April 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0420 - 1008 Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0420 schooltornadodamage Reliving the Orestes tornado of 1922 Spring is a time of new life and hope. A time when grass becomes green and flowers begin to bloom. But with the beauty of the season often comes the arrival of devastating storms. The spring of 1922 was no exception to the residents of Orestes.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Back in the News: April 20 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers. 10 Years Ago – 2004 April 21 – The Edgewood Baptist Church now is completely inside the town limits of Edgewood. The Town Council made it o

    April 19, 2014

  • 14th annual dog walkathon at Shadyside Park The Madison County Humane Society will host its 14th annual dog walkathon on Saturday, May 3. The walk will be at Shadyside Park between 8 a.m. and noon (rain or shine.

    April 19, 2014

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: April 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos

We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin