Elkhart County food pantry is able to supply produce this summer

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By Judi Lykowski - jlykowski@abc57.com

ELKHART CO., Ind. -- Thanks to community generosity, this summer an Elkhart food pantry is growing fresh produce to give to the many families it serves. More than 70 acres of farmlands have been donated to (CSC) Church Community Services, an organization in Elkhart County that meets the needs of the hungry.

Some of the property is located off of CR 36. On that site, one whole acre is dedicated to edible vegetables like tomatoes and green beans.

Rod Roberson, the Executive Director of Church Community Services said volunteers planted corn as well, but the dry conditions did not yield the crops for consumption.

He also said the volunteers planted soybeans and field corn on the rest of the donated property so CSC can sell it and then purchase produce at area auctions.

"Many people will benefit from this in multiple different ways, it is an exciting project because typically poverty stricken families don't get an opportunity to chosen nutritional food in the grocery store isle and panties have very spotty opportunities if at all, for them to select these types of items," said Roberson.

What vegetables don't get used fresh will be blanched and frozen for the winter months explained Mary Kneller the director of food services for CSC. She explained they are still looking for volunteers who want to help. "You can volunteer land, you can donate crops, you could volunteer to help harvest, you can help weed. We'll be processing in the fall, blanching and freezing, so we'll need help in that, freezer space, so there's a lot of ways to get involved."

Roberson said, "we also have about the same amount of acreage in Middlebury that is literally doing the same thing with soybeans, but not an actual garden."

CSC volunteers pick the fresh veggies on Tuesdays. They encourage anyone who wants to help to just show up at their CR 36 fields near 14761 CR 36.

Each month CSC estimates the supply food to close to 2,500 families. To find out more about volunteering call CSC at (574) 295-3673.

 

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