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Mobile pantry aims to combat hunger

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Two Lafayette agencies are giving free food to low income families in the area.

The effort is helping some manage through difficult times.

For Flo Edington, Tuesday was about saving and providing for her family.

"I have a grandson living with me and we all eat and I need to feed them. So this is a big, big help,” she said.

Edington left the Hanna Community Center’s mobile food pantry with bags full of green peppers and barbeque sauce.

The groceries were donated by Food Finders Food Bank.

Program Coordinator Kristine Jansen says helping those like Edington and her family is especially important with the current economic climate.

“A lot of people talk about how their cabinets are completely empty," said Jansen.  "They're excited that they are able to just walk through the line, sign in, and get as much as they they need.”

The mobile pantry is set up to replace the permanent one at the center that closed last year due to financial constraints.

Interim Director Heather Maddox says the need is still so great that something had to be done.

Hanna partnered with Food Finders to set up a mobile pantry.

Maddox says she is unsure of how often it will be open, but knows many residents still need it.

“We all know that all it takes is one bad week," she said.  "Your breaks go out, you have a doctors appointment, something like that that can put a whole lump in a work family, or poor family, or anybody.”

Like Terry Mccollum.  He stopped by the mobile pantry Tuesday morning to pick up some groceries for his neighbor and himself.

“I got some bread, and some potatoes, and some rolls.  It really helps out" he said.  "This is the first time I've ever been here, but it's pretty neat.”

Those eligible fall within 185-percent of the federal poverty level. However, there is no verification required.

There are two other distributions later this week.  The first will be Thursday afternoon at two at Lafayette Transitional Housing Center on North 14th Street.

The second is Friday morning at Saint Anne’s Soup Kitchen in Lafayette starting at eight.

Hanna Community Center and Food Finders hope to set up the mobile pantry on a more consistent basis in the future.

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