Group turns to Facebook to feed those in need

GOSHEN, Ind. -- The power of technology is helping a Michiana group feed those in need. The effort is fitting for the month of September, which happens to be Hunger Action Month.

A Goshen woman is using Facebook to make a change. She started a food exchange online for folks who live in Elkhart County and the whole concept is already reaching new heights.

Kyrstin Long and her husband have gone through a lot, from being homeless to having to get food from local food pantries in the area. Even though they have come a long way, she said it is still a struggle to make ends meet.

"We go to the window still to get help with food, so I just know how hard it is to swallow your pride and ask for the help," said Long.

Knowing there are people in her community struggling just like her, Long turned to Facebook and decided to start the group Elkhart County Food Exchange. The group was started just three weeks ago, yet it already has 4000 members. 

It is a success Long admits she never expected,"It's surprising seeing them put it out there. That's what my main concern was. That people wouldn't be willing to say they needed the help".

The concept for the group is simple. Either post if you are offering or in need, followed by a the list of food items. Then the group picks up and delivers the food, but there are some rules members have to agree to before joining.

"You are only allowed to post if you are in need once a week, but if people are offering you can take up to three different offerings, so you get three pick-ups," explained Long.

The rules are to make sure that those most in need get helped and that no one takes advantage of the group. Long said it is a system that is working great and has even caught the attention of other organizations that want to start similar groups of their own.

If you are struggling right now or if you just want to help, you can find a link to the Elkhart County Food Exchange Facebook page on under the What's Hot section.



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