A local food charity has been able to significantly expand its services and programs for people since its movement into a new facility.
In June of this year, Mother’s Hubbard’s Cupboard opened its doors at 1100 West Allen Street.
The new facility plus an increase in food available for distribution and increased staff have allowed more hours of service to clients from 10 hours a week to 31 hours a week.
Mary Beth Harris is the Director of Development for Mother Hubbard’s and she says the organization has jumped from 9,000 bags of groceries a month to over 13,000 bags a month.
“We have been working closely with the Hoosier Health Foodbank, who is our main supplier of food,” Harris says, “We work with them to ensure the supply of food is keeping up with demand.”
The new facility also has teaching kitchen and classroom, which has allowed Mother Hubbard’s to expand its Nutrition Education Program.
Nutrition staff, interns, and volunteers have hosted 37 recipe sample tables, more than tripling the number of opportunities patrons have to sample healthy and affordable recipes using items available in the pantry.
They have also hosted nine nutrition workshops including canning, jamming, and fermentation classes.
Mother Hubbard’s also operates a Garden Education program.
They have planted and begun tending a demonstration garden, which has produced its first harvest of tomatoes, basil, eggplant, arugula, and cucumbers for the pantry.
We asked how her organization has managed to fund the expansion of the food distribution system and these and other programs it provides.
Harris says they launched the Nourishing Community: Growing Possibilities eight months ago with the goal of $325,000 and they are already 85 percent of that goal. They hope to use that money to renovate their new facility, buy more tools and equipment as well as help manage a three year transition period with an increase in services and operating cost.
“We expected to increase about 25 percent and we are really seeing over and above what we anticipated by moving into the larger facility,” Harris says.
Listeners who are interested in finding out about volunteer opportunities with Mother’s Hubbard’s Cupboard can go online to: www.mhcfoodpantry.org/events.
Food donations, include produce from home gardens, is accepted Monday-Friday 11am-6pm at 1100 West Allen Street in Bloomington.