VALPARAISO | To help make Thanksgiving better for those suffering from the recession, Banta Feeds is combining with Life Bridge Christian Church's 500 Turkeys program to feed at least 500 families for the holiday.
"Our poor economy is making it hard for a lot of families to pay the rent," Banta Feeds organizer Christine Hisick said. "Imagine trying to fill your Thanksgiving table on next to nothing."
Hisick has organized a series of food drives in neighborhoods around the city over the past nine months as well as at the Porter County Sheriff's Department. She is focusing the latest drive in the Forest Park neighborhood. She is asking each Forest Park resident to donate at least one item that could serve as a side dish for those Thanksgiving meals.
Those items include boxed mashed potatoes, canned sweet potatoes, white bread mix, cornbread mix, applesauce, canned cranberry sauce, brownie mix, dry cookie mix, box pie crust and fillings for pies. Banta Feeds also is still collecting nonperishable food and home supply donations to give to food pantries.
The drive will be from Wednesday through Friday. A Banta Feeds container will be placed in the parking lot at Ogden Gardens at Harrison Boulevard and Campbell Streets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Anyone who wants to donate but can't make it to the drop-off box can call Hisick at (219) 840-0797 to arrange a pickup.
Hisick said impending winter weather means this will be the final outdoor neighborhood food drive of the year, but she will continue to work with organizations holding indoor food collections. The outdoor drives will resume in the spring.
Of the several neighborhood drives Hisick held this year, the biggest was in the Jefferson Park area, which collected more than 65 bags of groceries in August. She challenged Forest Park to beat that record.
For more information on past food drives or about Banta Feeds, go to http://bantafeeds.com.