Edwardsburg Food Pantry gears up for holiday season

Published 11:13 am Friday, November 5, 2021

EDWARDSBURG — For many, the holidays are a time of giving and receiving, and one Edwardsburg organization is preparing to receive donations and give them back to hundreds of area families.

The Edwardsburg Food Pantry, located at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 24832 US-12, Edwardsburg, is gearing up to host holiday food giveaways and meet an increased need throughout the end of the year. A drive-thru Thanksgiving meal food giveaway will be hosted 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 22, while a Christmas food and gift giveaway will be hosted 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 20.

“We always see an increased need around the holidays compared to the rest of the year,” said Edwardsburg Food Pantry President Scott Scheel. “The Thanksgiving and Christmas [giveaways] are the two biggest things we do all year, that’s our big thing right now — getting ready for those.”

To receive a Christmas or Thanksgiving basket, Scheel asked that clients pre-register by calling the pantry at (269) 699-6133.

To help supply the pantry with needed items for the holiday season, the Edwardsburg High School student council is hosting a district-wide food drive next week, Nov. 8-12.  Donations gathered throughout the food drive will help feed more than 200 area families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The holiday giveaways come at the end of a good year, according to Scheel. Throughout the entirety of 2021, he said the pantry received a steady stream of donations. Compared to last year, he said the number of visitors to the pantry was down — which he believes is a good thing.

“I always joke with people that my ultimate goal is to go out of business due to lack of need,” Scheel said with a laugh. “I don’t know that we will ever get there, so we are here to help those who need it. … The people who come here are people who genuinely need help.”

A new development for this year was the hiring of new pantry coordinator Amy Starkey.

“She started this September and has had really great ideas and just hit the ground running,” Scheel said. “We are happy to have her on board, and she is doing a great job.”

No matter the year, Scheel said he is consistently amazed at how giving the Edwardsburg community is. Throughout 2021, the pantry has been the recipient of fundraisers and food drives organized by several organizations, school groups and businesses.

“The way the whole community supports the food pantry is phenomenal,” Scheel said. “It’s always really touching to see.”