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Indianapolis church expands food pantry, wellness initiative

Multicultural Spotlight: Indy church expands wellness initiative

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis church is expanding its ministry through food and wellness.

A new grant will helping the church members move the work forward.

The Fresh Initiative is a new arm of the services offered at Living Water Fellowship Church. The area near Binford Boulevard and Allisonville Road is considered a food desert. But as services grow, church leaders are hoping to see that lack of food sources change.

The Purpose Pantry is a fitting name for the work Living Water Fellowship congregants have done to keep the facility running.

Ti’Gre McNear has been one of the many who help keep the pantry stocked and packed food for families who need it. McNear said, “They realized that there was a big need in the community, and, so, there started the Purpose Pantry.”

Support has come from Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

The pantry has been a part of the ministry of the Pentecostal church on East 46th Street between Allisonville and Binford for over four years.

McNear says, through that small seed of dedication, the pantry is growing.

More support has come from an Indiana Department of Health grant.

McNear said, “We can do far beyond what we even imagined, and we’re so excited about that because we have been serving a little number of families but now we’ve added ZIP codes.”

The official kick off last week saw the pantry’s largest turnout yet and supplied food for roughly 1,000 families.

But, the grant funding will do more than support the Purpose Pantry. “Doing all these wraparound services that will allow us to not only tackle the food insecurity but also look at how do we wrap around individuals and families,” McNear said.

The pantry’s services have included mental health and grief support groups, cooking classes, senior connections, and COVID-19 readiness.

McNear said, “Having conversations about mental health and wellness, and nurturing the inside of your soul. When you talk about food insecurity it causes people to live in a way where they lose hope.”

The pantry continued Friday to finalizing dates for upcoming programming on the fresh initiative program, but the next food pantry to set for next Saturday.