On September 22, Providence Food Pantry, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, celebrated 25 years of loving service to residents in the West Terre Haute area.
Persons of all faith traditions visited the pantry during an open house, enjoying treats, soda and chances to enter several raffles. During the celebration, Pantry Director Sister Joseph Fillenwarth accepted a check for $8,562.26 from the committee that planned the recent Hunger Bust Run/Walk sponsored by St. Mary’s Village Church.
Above: Sister Joseph Fillenwarth, SP, (second from right) exclaims joyfully when she’s presented with the check from the Hunger Bust Run/Walk, sponsored by St. Mary’s Village Church.
Sister Joan Slobig, SP, the presenter of the check from the church, is shown, center. Sister Joseph has served as director since 2006. Sister Joseph said the pantry served more than 4,000 families and 16,000 individuals in 2018. They usually serve about 300 clients per month, but this month they are teetering on 400 families, to meet the ever-growing need. Sister Joseph said the pantry is special in the amount of food they offer and its quality. Those who come to the pantry, whose income must be at or below the federal government’s poverty guidelines, receive fresh produce, three kinds of meat, milk and eggs in addition to breads and canned goods.
“God wants us here! This is accomplished by all volunteers and donations from a loving and generous community – especially the Helping Hands, nine local churches and local organizations who support our pantry,” said Sister Joseph.
For example, Sister Joseph said the Young’s Men’s Club Sisters of Providence, St. Mary-of-the-Woods Providence Food Pantry Celebrates 25 Years of West Terre Haute has supported the pantry since its inception and offered $3,000 for the walk-in freezer and cooler used at the facility.
“It shows what can be done if we put our trust in the Providence of our providing God and minister together as a loving and caring community,” Sister Joseph added.
Providence Food Pantry has served West Terre Haute families since 1994, first from the basement of former St. Leonard’s Catholic school building and, presently, at its larger handicapped accessible building at 701 West National Street. In 2013, thanks to a generous West Terre Haute business couple, Accurate Insulation owners Keith and Jamie Richey, the food pantry doubled the size of their space, allowing space for carts for clients to use as they do their shopping.