Staying Connected in South Central Indiana: Serving Our Communities Through the Pandemic
Due to job and income loss, The Salvation Army has been primarily focused on combatting food insecurity through the state of Indiana. In both Shelbyville and Greenwood, the facility’s food pantry operations are working to provide daily needs for those in need.
The Johnson County Red Shield Center in Greenwood continues to diligently run their food pantry operations to ensure that their community’s basic needs continue to be met. Thanks to local partnerships, they have been able to obtain several donations of food items to be used in the food pantry boxes. Some partnerships, like Greenwood Presbyterian Church, are long-standing and continue to donate food items during the pandemic. Others are new partnerships as the community steps forward to help one another.
“Mount Auburn Church has done volunteer projects [at our facility] in the past but now has regularly been donating food,” Julia Osterberg, coordinator of the Red Shield Center, said. Mount Olive Church in Greenwood and Green Park Terrace in Indianapolis have also been regularly donating food items to the Red Shield Center to be used in their food pantry. Thanks to these donations, the facility was able to serve 133 households, the equivalent of about 426 total individuals, with food during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Salvation Army Shelbyville Indiana continues to serve its community in as many ways as they can while maintaining new health and safety regulations due to COVID-19. Their food pantry offers groceries to families in the community, who can come to the pantry every two weeks to receive necessities. They are also providing a daily feeding program in which they give out two lunches per person, handing out lunches through the back door of their dining facility to practice social distancing.
Shannon Benner of the Shelbyville Corps has made it a point to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of the community, as well as the physical needs. She has been collecting digital prayer requests from members of the community to ensure that she connects spiritually with her community. She has also been making visits to the homes of her corps’ families and Pathway of Hope families to deliver games, activity books, devotional materials, and other fun gifts for families to do together during the shelter in place. From a safe distance, Shannon is making sure to connect with the people in her corps community when people need this connection the most.