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PCACS, community businesses uniting on food box assistance

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on May 13, 2020 with No Comments

 

PCACS bus driver Shana Pullins loads up food boxes from Town & Country Market in Valparaiso.

Porter County Aging and Community Services is focusing on providing food assistance for seniors and those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The PCACS team is working with Boulder Bay Realty Group, local grocery stores and neighborhood businesses to create food boxes for community members.

 

Boulder Bay will help raise funds for boxes that will be put together by the crews at Town & Country that have best practices already in place to handle food items,” said PCACS Executive Director Bruce Lindner. “After the recipients are notified to expect delivery of a food box, our bus drivers will leave the box safely on their doorsteps and knock on their doors to alert them that the food box has been delivered.”

 

 

Town & Country Market Grocery Manager brings out prepared food boxes to be loaded onto PCACS buses for doorstep delivery.

Lindner said that the team hopes to help seniors who are mobility challenged and have to remain in their homes or families that are facing unprecedented situations by being pushed into a place that they have never been before.

 

There are community members who have lost their jobs, and their only sources of income, and are waiting for unemployment assistance,” Lindner said. “We want to help those who are not already receiving food stamp assistance and who need immediate help feeding their families.”

 

The Boulder Bay Realty Group team is putting together an outreach strategy and awareness campaign right in their own neighborhoods to help feed as many as possible. The team has already raised more than $5,000.

 

PCACS bus driver Jane Mullins makes her first doorstep delivery of the day.

As real-estate agents, we have always felt that it is not about the house, but the people and serving others. We want to take our energies to the community and those who need it most right now,” said Boulder Bay Realty Group’s Lynda Anderson. “Our team really wanted to help, and by teaming with PCACS, we can provide the most basic essentials to our neighbors in need. The deliveries allow community members to stay home safely when every trip can feel scary.”

 

PCACS is on schedule to deliver 20 boxes twice a week for as long as possible. Beyond food such as milk, bread, eggs and canned goods, Barnes and Noble has donated magazines and puzzles to be included for those families who would benefit from them. Healthi Paws has also offered small bags of dog food to be included for pet owners.

 

One family has seven kids and they were really excited to receive this stuff,” Lindner said. “Healthi Paws is trying to help families ensure their pets stay healthy.”

 

Lindner said the food box drive is a way that the community can come together and make an impact in a safe manner.

 

We feel it is imperative to help those new to needing assistance and a typical drive of collecting and distributing food items is just not the ideal way to go at this time,” he said. “We are honored that Boulder Bay Realty Group is helping us launch this vital initiative as well as all of the community members who have come together during this unprecedented time.”

 

Chris Hewlett, grocery manager of Town & Country Market, said the store strives to support local organizations and food pantries throughout the year.

 

We are the neighborhood store and it is important to us,” he said. “Many of those affected by this pandemic are our neighbors, friends and family. It is all about being part of the community and being able to support people when needed.”

 

We all as a community have to continue to adapt, adjust and push forward as we all navigate these uncharted waters,” Lindner added.

 

Hewlett said his team has shined as grocery store employees have faced new roles on the front line.

 

The team’s spirit has remained strong as we realize that what we are doing is important and will help people get through their week a little easier with confidence that we will do whatever is possible to ensure a safe environment to shop in,” he said.   

 

PCACS is striving to assist as many community members in need as possible. If you need assistance, call the PCACS offices at 219-464-9736, Option 1.

 

PCACS’ mission is to extend a helping hand to seniors, those with disabilities and low-income residents by providing services to improve their quality of life, including transportation, energy and emergency assistance, Section 8 and ramp programs.

 

For more information, visit www.portercountyacs.org.

 

 

 

 

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