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Second Harvest tailgate planned just in time for Thanksgiving

By Rob Burgess - rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com

The Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana will provide food for families in need at a tailgate distribution from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Dallas L. Winchester Senior Center, Living Well in Wabash County, 239 Bond St., stated Jackson Eflin, marketing coordinator.

Participants must enter the drive-through line from the Hill Street entrance of the city park. The distribution is while supplies last, and there is a limit of three families per vehicle.

This Second Harvest Tailgate is a collaborative effort between Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, The Community Foundation of Wabash County and Living Well in Wabash County. Tailgates are not possible without the help of dedicated volunteers. To learn how you can help, contact Ryan Wagner at 260-563-4475.

“The items received at a tailgate event are meant to be supplemental items only. They are not meant to be complete meals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often provided,” stated Eflin.

Previous tailgate figures

In response to a Plain Dealer request, Eflin provided the following figures for previous Wabash County tailgates held during 2019:

n January: 444 families, 858 participants.

n February: Canceled due to unsafe weather. (No tailgate distributions will take place when wind-chill is reported to be below 0 degrees or the heat index is reported to be 100 degrees.)

n March: 304 families, 993 participants.

n April: 719 families, 1,486 participants.

n May: 222 families, 475 participants.

n June: 712 families, 1,455 participants.

n July: 375 families, 1,191 participants.

n August: 794 families, 1,653 participants.

n September: 759 families, 1,521 participants.

n October: 757 families, 1,618 participants.

Eflin stated the total number of Wabash County residents served for 2019 to date was 5,086 families and 11,250 people. The totals for 2018 were 3,821 families and 12,196 people. The totals for 2017 were 4,446 families and 14,384 people.

“While there’s usually an uptick in the winter months, I find that the numbers tend to be relatively negligible, within 10 percent,” stated Eflin. “However, because there are so many variables and so few data points, I am hesitant to make concrete assertions.”

Another tailgate event planned in December

Next month’s tailgate event has been planned for Friday, Dec. 13, according to Beverly Ferry, CEO of Living Well in Wabash County.

According to Eflin, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is the region’s largest hunger-relief charity.

“Our mission is ‘Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.’ Our goal is to feed East Central Indiana’s most vulnerable residents through a region-wide network of member agencies and programs and to engage our region in the fight to end hunger,” stated Eflin. “Each year, the Second Harvest Food Bank network provides food assistance to more than 70,000 low-income people facing hunger in Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph and Wabash counties, including almost 21,000 children and 15,178 seniors.”

To learn more, visit www.curehunger.org.