Enon youth fill shelves of local food pantry

Less than a week after Trick-or-Treat, Enon and Mad River Twp. youth canvassed the neighborhoods for something even better than candy.

This time instead of costumes the young folks were wearing club T-shirts and jackets and gathering food donations for Enon Emergency Relief.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 17 B and G, Cub Scout Pack 36, Methodist Youth, 444 Venture Crew, American Heritage Girls, Girl Scouts troops 60, 34, 160, 4H, and Greenon students went through the neighborhoods picking up bags of non-perishable food donations and then delivered them to the Enon Emergency Relief facility beside the water tower in the middle of Enon, 105 North Scott Street to be exact.

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Enon Relief volunteers were ready with shopping carts to help unload the pickup trucks and vans full of supplies.

The atmosphere was quite cheerful and festive as scouts handed the bags of canned goods to the waiting volunteers.

“It’s the most important part of being a scout, helping others,” saidShaffer Taylor, 8, who was assisted by his 5-year old brother Oscar. “He’s not a scout yet but he’s going to be next year.”

Melinda Taylor smiled with pride and explained that she and her husband Chad are showing their sons how important it is to help others. Then they drove off to pick up more donations.

The entire Greenon School District area was canvassed by the youth and their drivers. A coordinator with a clipboard kept track of areas that had been picked up.

In the pantry the volunteers had a well organized system to sort the donations into types of food to stock the shelves. It was kind of like the reverse of grocery shopping.

I was surprised by the wide range of donated foods. No one is going to get bored eating the same thing over and over from this pantry. There were even lunch items and foods that kids crave. And as I was told, everyone gets a jar of peanut butter too.

EER President Karen Olsen and Vice President Cindy Mattachione expected that nearly 3,500 pounds of food and necessities would be donated.

Olsen said that donations of cleaning supplies, paper products, and hygiene items are especially appreciated since these are not covered by food stamps.

“Everyone needs toilet paper and toothpaste,” she said.

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Mattachione told me that she was proud of how the people of this community support the pantry.

Don’t let the name fool you. Enon Emergency Relief is not just for Enon residents. It is also for residents of Mad River Township and the Greenon School District who need a bit of help.

Those seeking assistance will need to register using a photo identification card and a bill showing their current address. Food and supplies are distributed from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Mondays, unless it’s a holiday. Then it will be open on Tuesday. Clients older than 60 can get additional help on the second Saturday of each month. Call 864-5555 for exact dates, times, and information.

Items available also include milk, bread, frozen meats and other refrigerated items that EER purchases from places like Second Harvest and local merchants who want to help.

The last sign up for Christmas Assistance is on Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. until noon at the Enon Relief Pantry at 105 Scott Street, Enon. Applicants must apply in person and present a photo identification and proof of address such as a current utility bill. A contact telephone number and an alternative are also required. Other information that may be needed include court documents that would be needed by custodial parents or grandparents. The full names, ages, and current sizes of children are important too. Call 937-864-5555 for more information.

Keeping up with our local food pantries is an important part of our community spirit. Watch for other food drives next year. There will be another youth food drive and the post office donation collection in the spring.

Our churches, clubs, businesses, and individuals give generously to keep the pantries in Enon and New Carlisle going. We look out for each other, which is just one of the reasons this is a great community to live in.

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