Two-day Food-A-Thon event to stock food pantry shelves in Kosciusko County

The largest food pantry in Kosciusko County needs your help.

Combined Community Services, whose food pantry served 6,600 families last year, is holding their annual Food-A-Thon event. The goal is to collect non-perishable food items and monetary donations that will go to those in need.

Director of Emergency Assistance Christie Borzeniatow tells News Now Warsaw that the two-day event happens just in time to prepare for when there is the most demand for food in the county.

“Winter is the hardest time of year, bills go up, so adding food costs is just another challenge,” she explains. “Food-A-Thon really helps us get through those challenging months and meet the higher demand where we’re seeing easily over 500 families during those cold months.”

Borzeniatow says the food CCS gets from Food-A-Thon will stock pantry shelves all the way through February.

When it comes to donating food, they’re always looking for non-perishable items like peanut butter, pasta, cereal, and breakfast items. Once inside the food pantry, those who are facing food insecurity in Kosciusko County can select what they need.

“The cool thing about our food pantry is that we are what is called a ‘client choice’ food pantry, so when come in they’re able to just check in with us, and then we walk them back to our food pantry, and its kind of like going to a grocery store– they get to shop and choose the items they know their family is going to be able to use,” Borzeniatow says.

In addition to their food pantry, Combined Community Services also offers utility assistance and clothing to those who may need it.

Executive Director Stephen Possell says its all part of getting people back on their feet.

“You need to meet people where they are.  If somebody comes into your office– they don’t have food, their lights have been turned off, they’ve got little kids, we’re going to try and take care of that first,” he explains. “Eventually the goal is to get people self-sufficient…but, initially we take care of their food needs, we take care of their utility needs, so they can get to the point where they’re financially independent.”

The Food-A-Thon is happening Friday November 10 at Martin’s from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday November 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lake City Media will have on-air personalities from both Willie 103.5 and 107.3 WRSW at the event to help collect food items and monetary donations.

Combined Community Services also holds a dodge ball game at Lakeview Friday evening, and two food items is the cost of admission.