As a member agency of Food Finders Food Bank Inc, the Emmaus Mission Center in Logansport, Indiana has benefited, for many years, from the free government commodities and low cost food items for purchase through Food Finders Food Bank. Our food pantry serves upwards of 550 families per month, and food purchased from Food Finders, along with the connections that Food Finders has helped us establish in our local community with food retailers, has kept us well provided with products to distribute to our friends and neighbors in need. Food Finders' staff are benevolent and helpful and we very much appreciate all the education and assistance they offer us to allow us to better help others.
I work in social services in the counties served by the Food Finders Food Bank and their mobile sites. Most of my clients struggle to make ends meet and Food Finders is an essential lifeline for those in need. SNAP benefits don't go as far as needed and local food pantries often have restrictive rules limiting families to one trip a month. Without Food Finders, more children would do without food. I am thankful to have their services available as an option.
I truly believe in the mission of food finders and all of the good that this company does it the 16 counties that they serve. The business side of things need to change. It is sad when the executive director thinks that she is better than everyone and belittles all of the staff. They fire people all of the time for no good reasoning other than a friends of theirs may need a job. Directors there have said anyone and everyone is replaceable. If people knew what went on behind those walls they would honestly think differently. There are some people that know the truth but are to afraid to speak up for what is right, the turn over rate in the last 12 months is around 87%-110%. That should say something all in itself.
My name is Lynn Johal and I'm the Director of the St. John's/LUM Food Pantry (a choice pantry) in Lafayette, IN. We are one of the largest pantries in the 16 county area served by Food Finders (FF). Last year we served a whopping 8,397 households. May of 2013 we served 694 households, representing some 2,179 family members. We have ~60 volunteers that help out at our pantry.
Last year 47% of our food came from FF + another 36% came to us as USDA/TEFAP (free commodities) via FF. Our pantry therefore relies heavily on the resources available at FF. I'm impressed with the staff at FF; they are always helpful to answer questions quickly and respond to the unique situations that arise at our pantry. The online ordering has really streamlined our process as we shop twice each week at FF. I've met on ocassion with Katy Bunder (FF director) and Kier Crites (FF outreach) and they have listened to our pantry's specific needs and given us helpful suggestions to make our pantry even more efficient. Right now we are holding monthly cooking classes for our clients, with the help of Purdue Extension, and FF staff is watching closely to see if this might be a model for other area food panties.
As a Head Start teacher and family facilitator I see many struggling families through out each school year and Food Finders Food Bank Inc. helps insure these parents they will have food to feed their children as the parents struggle to find ways to fill their other monthly needs. This food allows these children to be healthier, able to attend school, and to learn on a daily basis. Services received from Food Finders Food Bank Inc. gives these children life changing alternatives that they may not have received normally.