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The Indiana Daily Student

city bloomington

Pantry 279 to host community resource drive and outreach event


Pantry 279 will host “Duke Energy Cares,” a community resource and outreach event, on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Organizers will provide food, clothing and other basic staples for families and individuals in need. Some local organizations and programs will also be present to provide resources and information on how to get involved. 

The event will take place from 1:30-6 p.m. Wednesday at 3609 State Road 46 in Bloomington. 

Pantry 279 is a food bank that has operated in Bloomington since 2015. First conceived and created by 10 girl scouts from troop 69-279, leaders had orginally intended to serve around 30 people per week. Now, they serve upwards of 1800 families 5500 people  each month, according to the organization's website.  

IU graduate Cindy Chavez has been the director of Pantry 279 since 2015 and is preparing to host the event. 

“We’re grateful for the support of Duke Energy as we work to serve those in need in our community,” Chavez said in a Feb. 5 press release. 

Duke Energy contributed $10,000 for the event, according to the release. 

 A 2021 report from the city of Bloomington found  that 1 in 10 Bloomington residents were unable to access the food they need. Additionally, nearly half struggled with access to at least one kind of food, such as fresh dairy, fruits, or vegetables. A survey from Feeding America found that around 12% of individuals in Monroe County experienced food insecurity in 2021, which is above the state and national average of around 10%.  

Along with distributing basic supplies, Pantry 279 will be hosting a number of organizations offering a range of community services.  

IU Health and the Monroe County Department of Public Health will offer flu vaccines, routine tests and pregnancy assistance. The South Central Community Action Program will offer iinformation on their child care, housing assistance, and weatherization programs. Hoosier Hills Food Bank will be providing details about eligibility and application for their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

WonderLab Science Museum will offer qualifying residents a $2 access pass that grants admission to 24 different historic locations in Indiana. Duke Energy will be on site providing information on energy assistance programs and Access Wireless will provide free cell phones to eligible residents.    

Update: This story was updated to reflect the accurate location of the courtesy photo.

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