The lines start to form early and lengthen quickly. On the days when local food pantries open their doors, the need for their services becomes obvious to anyone passing by.
Danville and Vermilion County are lucky to be served by a number of excellent food pantries. Many area churches also maintain their own small pantries.
It’s easy to assume those standing in line for food would rather take a handout than find a job. That assumption, in most cases, would be wrong.
A story in today’s Commercial-News profiles a working family who received the help it needed from local food pantries. The husband had lost his job and the wife had found only part-time work. They appreciated the help they received until they could get back on their feet again.
The area’s children benefit the most from the help provided by the food banks. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count compilation of statistics, 31.7 of the children in Vermilion County lived in poverty in 2009-10, with the Indiana average at 22 percent. In District 118 schools, 73.4 percent of all students live in low-income families, according to the report.
That all adds up to a significant need within our communities. Even though numerous job openings exist locally, most of the positions require additional training or education many people just have not had the opportunity to pursue.
Those of us fortunate enough to be in a position to help our neighbors should do so whenever possible. With the holidays just ahead, local food pantries plan donation drive. Give. And give often.
No one know when they might find themselves in need of a helping hand.