WESTPORT – The Westport Christian Church (WCC), also known as “The Port,” has been holding a twice-weekly food giveaway for some time and will soon be doing even more to combat hunger among local families.
The need for supplemental nutrition has been growing locally and the WCC has actively been making plans to grow their programs offering relief. WCC has come to an agreement with Gleaner’s Food Bank and Feeding America. The groups have partnered to fight hunger and give necessary nourishment to local people through Gleaner’s Mobile Food Pantry program.
Currently, The Port’s regular food giveaway is held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Friday, and usually offers fruits, vegetables, bread and baked goods, some canned food and other dried foods.
WCC serves approximately 90 families a week from six nearby counties. The church asks for nothing other than the number of people in the home. Families from Decatur, Bartholomew, Franklin, Ripley, Jennings and Shelby counties have regularly attended the giveaways.
The majority of the food given out by The Port is donated by a local business in Greensburg, but WCC preacher Mike Bartlett said the church is currently in negotiations to potentially get donations from other sources as well.
The impact of the weekly food giveaways has been seen by many. One senior told the church they often had to choose between food and medicine. Thanks to the weekly giveaway, that senior is now able to reliably get both. Many families have reported being genuinely helped by the extra food supplementing what they were able to purchase on their own. In addition to the help provided by the regular giveaways at WCC, monthly visits providing a wider range of food items will soon start.
Beginning Jan. 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Gleaner’s Food Bank mobile pantry truck will be at the Westport Christian Church to distribute food to those in need. The mobile food pantry will be making a once a month stop at the church to offer food to as many as 200 families in a single day. Bartlett said the truck can carry thousands of pounds of food at a time.