By Rod Rose The Lebanon Reporter
---- — Several local organizations are hoping to reduce food insecurity in Boone County by forming a food pantry coalition. More than 6,000 county residents are considered food insecure — not being assured of having enough to eat every day. Lisa Cangany, an extension educator for health and human services at Purdue Extension Boone County, in a May meeting proposed creating a food pantry coalition that would coordinate response to food needs. A second session is tentatively planned for October. Groups that participated in the initial meeting included Mental Health America in Boone County, State Bank of Lizton, The Caring Center, New Brunswick Church, Community Foundation of Boone County, Boone County United Way, Trinity Chapel, St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church’s St. Vincent De Paul Society, Zionsville Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, and Purdue Extension. “Ideas, issues, concerns and various solutions were shared as a group,” Cangany said. “Members learned how different pantries handle issues, and offered support to each other.” The group also heard how Purdue’s Family Nutrition Program offers tips for budgeting, the planning and preparation of nutritious meals, stretching the food dollar, and food safety. Cangany said she hopes a local organization can learn from the Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition, a group of 22 organizations that was founded to help meet the nutritional needs of the community, and enhance the efforts of the county’s food pantries. See Wednesday's Lebanon Reporter for more on this story.