Edwardsburg Food Pantry receives large donation, reminder of how far it has come

Published 10:12 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

EDWARDSBURG — The sun may have been out on Saturday, Jan. 26, but the temperatures were low as volunteers from the Edwardsburg Food Pantry loaded and unloaded 400 cases of food, donated by Granger Community Church.

The donation was part of GCC’s annual holiday collection, which was contributed to 12 other local charities. For the Edwardsburg pantry, it was not only a significant donation, but also a reminder of days not so long ago when the pantry was running low.

The Edwardsburg Food Pantry is one of Edwardsburg’s most notable and active charity recipients and distributors. Edwardsburg Public Schools, private donors and other local churches frequently give to the pantry, keeping its cupboards and refrigerators stocked and funds in the bank. GCC’s January donation was a testament to the generosity of the greater Edwardsburg community, even reaching into Indiana.

“This was a pretty major donation. It was about half that last year. We’ve been involved with [GCC] the last three years, and hope to continue that connection,” said Stan Mason of the Edwardsburg Food Pantry.

GCC had several trailers full of food items set up in its parking lot where volunteers from local charities, like the Edwardsburg Food Pantry, came to collect. Although it was not the largest donation to the food pantry, the amount of food from GCC will likely be one of the largest single gifts of the year and will carry the pantry through about two months, according to Mason.

It was not long ago, however, that the Edwardsburg Food Pantry was struggling to keep shelves full. According to Mason, the pantry had a couple of years of dismal donations and financial gifts, but has made a significant turnaround in the last three years.

“We’ve been very lucky the last three years with major donations and a lot of community donations,” Mason said. “There have been years with scant donations. We’re not quite as needy as we used to be. For the moment we’re doing well as an entity.”

Mason said that where community organizations, like the schools that donated more than 16,000 food items for their November 2018 holiday drive, contribute most of the food. Most of the financial contributions come from local churches. The Edwardsburg food pantry is not only open to food and financial contributions. Last November the family of Jerry and Linda Gibson donated two commercial refrigerators to the food pantry in their memory. Wherever the food, funds and refrigeration is coming from, Edwardsburg is fortunate to have a thriving food pantry, according to Mason.

“It’s greatly appreciated,” Mason said. “It’s crucial to have the compassion and knowledge that this is very important for people that are in need. Supporting local community is really special.”

The Edwardsburg Food Pantry is in the basement of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, located at 24832, US-12 in Edwardsburg. The pantry is open 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.