Christine Hisick recently initiated Banta Feeds, a program that was inspired by statistics which display the recession is hurting the amount of food donated to area food pantries at a time when more people needed their help.Created on the philosophy ‘Alone we have a pebble, but together we can build mountains,’ Hisick, 31 and the mother of three, distributed flyers to her Banta Neighborhood neighbors asking everyone to donate one canned good to the cause. Hisick figured that with 270 homes in the neighborhood, if everyone donated one thing it would be immensely helpful. She reported that many people gave a lot more than just one item; the container in front of her house was loaded with donated food.
Enough goods that she delivered 44 bags of food - 22 bags to the food pantry at Immanuel Lutheran Church and another 22 bags to the First Christian Church. She has also asked residents of the Central Neighborhood just north of downtown Valpo to donate a single item, and she hopes to hold a citywide food collection in the near future. She chose the Central Neighborhood because she grew up there and still has family living there. Hisick has a box on her front porch at 404 N. Locust St. to collect the donations and asks that people drop items off between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The flyer she distributed to the Central residents states, "If every household in the Central Neighborhood could simply give one item, we could collect enough items to help stock a food pantry." She brought her Banta Feeds campaign to the city council meeting and said she hopes the campaign will be successful enough to help a third pantry. With limited funds to promote the program she hopes the city will help her get word out about a citywide collection day when it is organized.
Kate Schultheis, coordinator of the Immanuel food pantry, said a news story produced a rush of donations of money and food, including Hisick's efforts and 800 pounds of food provided by Curves.