NEW PARIS — The New Paris Food Bank, located at the Saint Paul United Methodist Church in New Paris, helped 99 families receive holiday meals on Saturday, Dec. 19, with the help of several local businesses.
Food Bank Director Kelly Dunn called the drive a “huge community effort in coming together,” as the drive was 100 percent supported by community donations.
Families will also be able to receive snack bags for children who normally receive two meals a day while attending school but will miss those meals while on winter break.
“I think it’s important because people don’t realize when kids are on break, families who are already struggling face more challenging days over break and snow days,” Dunn said of the new program offering snack bags.
The National Trail FFA also provided the drive with fresh fruit baskets to be sent home with the families.
The families received spiral hams with the helped of Southern Comfort Bar and Grill who paid for half of the hams according to Dunn.
The amount of food received was based on family size.
Seventeen volunteers helped run the drive for the food bank which serves Jefferson and Jackson townships of Preble County.
The drive also received assistance from Bill Sweet, RIM Technologies and the New Hope United Methodist Church.
According to Dunn, the food bank helps an average of 80 families per month. Dunn noted, the Holiday Food Drive was a bonus for those who receive regular monthly assistance.
The drive also provided children in the community with toys. The Dollar General store in New Paris and Farmers State Bank helped purchase toys to be sent home for the children.
Pastor Jeff Ginton said the food bank receives an average of 2,500 to 3,500 pounds of food each month and student organizations at National Trail assist in the unloading of the items.
He also noted, the church offers many other services. “We do food, but we also help direct people to other services,” he said.
Some of those services include a resource room to help people build job resumes and harness job skills, mental health counseling assistance through Samaritan Behavioral Health and helping connect people with Medicare, since Caresource also visits the facility once a month.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @ aschmidt_RH.