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Salamonie School supports food pantry

Members of the Salamonie School Student Council went to the Bread of Life Food Pantry on Tuesday, Dec. 7, to help organize the items donated by Salamonie School in its annual food drive. Featured are (front row, from left) Katrine Cutright, Jazzy Yeargan, Jayhla Erikson and Bentlee Darling, along with (back row, from left) Kinley Schuler, Caelan Smith, Callie Richardson, Brinlee Ludemann, Morgan Blair, Food Pantry Coordinator Rose Broyles and Salamonie Counselor Melinda Huber.
Members of the Salamonie School Student Council went to the Bread of Life Food Pantry on Tuesday, Dec. 7, to help organize the items donated by Salamonie School in its annual food drive. Featured are (front row, from left) Katrine Cutright, Jazzy Yeargan, Jayhla Erikson and Bentlee Darling, along with (back row, from left) Kinley Schuler, Caelan Smith, Callie Richardson, Brinlee Ludemann, Morgan Blair, Food Pantry Coordinator Rose Broyles and Salamonie Counselor Melinda Huber. Photo by Emily Wyatt

Salamonie School recently hosted its annual Student Council Food Drive to support Bread of Life Food Pantry in Warren. This year, the school gathered 1,760 items, which translated to 1,600 pounds.

Salamonie Counselor Melinda Huber said that this is the most they have ever collected for the drive.

“I was very proud of our students because the drive went on alongside our cash drive for the United Way. Students were generous on both accounts,” Huber said.

The class that raised the most was Kathy Salzmann’s second grade class with 422 items. Their prize was a pajama and popcorn day for their class. Along with collecting the donations, student council members also went to the food pantry on Tuesday, Dec. 7, to help organize the donations.

Upon the students’ arrival at the Knight Bergman Center, Food Pantry Coordinator Rose Broyles said, “You are the future volunteers of this community, of this state, of the world, and we need more volunteers. We have a young man that started out at 3-years-old volunteering here. He’s now 12 and he goes to Southern Wells. But he learned how to count rolls of toilet paper, put them in a bag and tie them for me. So, we want all the volunteers we can get.”

Broyles went on to encourage the students that every small act helps.
“Size really does not matter because the smallest church here in Warren, only has eight people going to it. It’s the Wesleyan Church. And yet they can supply all the peanut butter for the food pantry every month. They make sure that all the families get two jars of peanut butter every month. What a blessing,” Broyles said.

Another example Broyles gave was of five families in the Warren community that give to the weekend kids backpack program instead of each other giving gifts.

Broyles also said that they are able to get supplies from Community Harvest in Fort Wayne, but they have been restricting the amounts they give because they have been having shortages on supplies.

Broyles said—along with food items—that hygiene products are also a good thing to donate to the pantry. She explained that individuals aren’t able to get hygiene products when they are in assistance programs because they are deemed “luxuries.”

“These are not luxuries. They are necessities,” Broyles said.
Broyles—who began her career in food pantry service at Love INC of Huntington County—is going into her 11th year in her position at Bread of Life. She said that one of the most important things for the food pantry staff is to make sure to feed the children.

“Every week, we want to make sure children are getting fresh produce (even) if it’s no more than carrots and some apples and a banana. We like to have things for kids that they can reach into the refrigerator and grab,” Broyles said.
Broyles said starting next year Bread of Life will be going back to “pre-COVID-19” rules and only serving people in the Warren area, which would be Division Road and south. Families that live beyond that line will have to go to a food pantry in Huntington.

Bread of Life is open every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. The only Wednesday they are closed is the day before Thanksgiving.

Individuals that would like to donate to the food pantry may do so by contacting Broyles at 224-8629. For monetary gifts, a check may be sent to Bread of Life Food Pantry, P.O. Box 574, Warren, IN 46792.

The food pantry is located inside the Knight Bergman Center at 132 Nancy St., Warren.