South Bend Food Pantry doing more with less

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 6:10 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - You don’t need to travel far from Notre Dame’s campus to learn what’s good in South Bend.

Nan Tulchinsky runs the Northeast Neighborhood food Pantry at 803 N. Notre Dame Ave. serving folks with a 46617 area code. They expanded their services once the pandemic hit.

16 News Now tells us how they’re working with others in the community to help more people.

What’s good about the way this pantry operates is how they’re able to make such a big difference with very little resources.

Tulchinsky is well connected in South Bend, which helps a lot when operating a food pantry with a budget of $0.

“Between food donations and monetary donations, we’ve been able to stay very vibrant in this area,” Tulchinsky said.

She says people have come from the far west side of South Bend, Mishawaka, and even Elkhart for support since they opened their doors to the wider community.

They’ve met the demand through a network of ‘iPorch’ neighborhoods in Granger and one in Harter Heights, as well as community donors like Cultivate Food Rescue, the Community Foundation, and Green Bridge Growers, to name a few.

“That’s one of the things I love most about South Bend. We are a community of people who truly care about each other,” Tulchinsky said.

Mia and Madison Naman organized their own iPorch network through friends and teachers at St. Joseph High School to help the food pantry through the pandemic.

Through their website, they let participants know what food is needed. Friends and staff buy the food. Then Mia and Madison pick up the groceries at their front door and bring them here.

“I’m just so thankful that I’ve been able to meet some of the community’s best people. They’re very genuine here and I just love coming and the atmosphere here,” said St. Joseph High School Senior Mia Naman.

“We had 600 more people come to us from March to July than we had the year before in that same time frame. That shows, first of all, the need and then secondly it shows that we were actually able to take care of them,” Tulchinsky said.

They’ve made the process simple and safe for people seeking support.

As their number of neighbors facing hunger grows, they plan on growing to meet the need.

You can head to the pantry’s website for more information on how to help.

Head to the Naman sister’s website to connect them with ways on how to help.

You can send monetary donations to 803 N. Notre Dame Ave, and write food pantry in the memo.

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