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HCCF grant gives food pantry needed boost

HCCF grant gives food pantry needed boost
HCCF grant gives food pantry needed boost
The South Harrison Community Center food pantry in Elizabeth is well stocked, thanks to recent grants. Photo by Kaitlyn Clay
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Asking for help takes a lot of courage, but the volunteers at South Harrison Community Center are working to rid the negative stigma behind needing assistance.

Housed in the former Elizabeth High School and Grade School, the community center runs a food pantry, donates gifts to children for Christmas, operates a Meals on Wheels program, hosts open gyms and provides rental space for events. The center also is home to the Elizabeth branch of the Harrison County Public Library.

With people throughout the county having to file for unemployment and be cautious with their spendings due to the global pandemic, Sara Deatrick, a board member at the South Harrison Community Center, said they have really worked to help the community during this time of need.

One area getting a lot of attention now is the food pantry. Created in 1986, the food pantry services those in Boone, Posey, Taylor and Webster townships.

Dinah Conder, who has volunteered with the food pantry for about 20 years, said the pandemic has shown a lot of people that it is OK to ask for help when you need it.

“When you walk in to get food to feed your family, I don’t care if I have known you for my whole life … ” Condor said. “You, your family, your story, it’s all anonymous to me and something I never share with anyone. We all need help sometimes in life, and I am happy to do my part to make life easier for some.”

The South Harrison Community Center food pantry recently received a grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation to help with grocery purchases for the pantry. Along with $2,500 granted to HCCF from Metro United Way for emergency relief, the HCCF Board of Directors voted to provide an addition $1,000 from the HCCF COVID-19 Relief Fund to give a total of $3,500 to maintain the SHCC food pantry.

“The HCCF is focusing grant efforts on emergency funding requests related to COVID-19 from nonprofits providing basic survival needs,” Julie Moorman, president and CEO of the Foundation, said. “We encourage nonprofits serving Harrison County to keep in touch with the Foundation on COVID-19-related emergency needs.”

Deatrick and Conder both said this grant gave the food pantry the ability to build a stockroom larger than they ever had, full of groceries, cleaning supplies and personal needs.

Conder, who does a lot of the grocery shopping for the pantry, said she likes to work with local stores in the community a lot. She commended the staff at JayC Food Stores for being able to handle her large case orders.

“Our community has really banded together during this time like I have never seen before,” Conder said. “From HCCF giving us the grant, our volunteers here, the staff at the stores we work with, the churches who will help connect up with those who need help, it is a real community effort and shows just how great the town we live in is.”

Deatrick and Conder said items for the pantry can be dropped off by calling the center at 812-969-2079, at the library attached to the community center or at 1819 General Store in Elizabeth.