News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 1, 2013

Bethany House soup kitchen benefits from $30K Walmart gift

STAFF REPORT
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute Catholic Charities Food Bank will be able to continue supporting Bethany House’s soup kitchen thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation given Thursday, according to a news release.

The grant equals another full year of nutritional aid to those in the area.

“This generous grant from Walmart allows Bethany House to continue serving nutritious meals each day as well as provide fresh produce, breads and baked goods for people to eat at home through its Deli Days program and emergency food baskets. We could not be more grateful to continue giving to those that need it most,” said John Etling, agency director, Catholic Charities.

“Bethany House Soup Kitchen is unique within our communities since it is open every day of the year, serving meals on Sundays, holidays and even during snow and ice storms,” Etling said.

He said hunger in Indiana forces some Hoosiers to make decisions between other life necessities and healthy food. A 2010 study conducted by Feeding America shows how Indiana hungry have to make those decisions:

Forty-six percent of clients said they had to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel; 42 percent between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage; 36 percent between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care; and 37 percent between paying for food and paying for transportation.

“In our experience, we can do the most good by supporting issues and causes that are important to our customers and associates in their own neighborhoods,” said Russ Koenig, Walmart market manager for west-central Indiana.

The contribution to Catholic Charities’ program was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Indiana State Giving Program and is part of the Foundation’s historic pledge of $2 billion through year 2015 to help the hungry.

In 2011, Indiana Walmart stores, Sam's Club locations and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $26.8 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations in the communities they serve. Through additional funds donated by customers and Walmart and Sam’s Club associates around the state, Indiana contributions totaled more than $29.7 million.