PUMC Food Drive

Give a Gift in Kind

Even during this time of social distancing and staying at home, PUMC continues its work to show love, share hope, and serve those in need.

A particular need at the moment is for food for persons and families out of work. You can help!
On Sundays between 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and Mondays between 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., PUMC volunteers will be in the parking lot of the church (600 Simmons St., Plainfield) to receive gifts of food and personal care items. These donations will supply PUMC’s hunger alleviation ministries (Monday night homeless, Saturday lunches), as well as St. Mark’s Food Pantry in Plainfield, Hendricks County Family Promise, Fletcher Place Community Center in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Public School 34, Hendricks County Active Grace.

There is a drop-off zone in the east parking lot. You don’t even have to get out of your car! And please note, these drop-off times will continue every Sunday and Monday until otherwise noted.

For more information, please visit pumc.org/food-drive.

If you have questions, please contact Pastor Ken Loudenback at [email protected] or Mission Chairperson Ruth Ellen Stone at [email protected].
Thank you for showing God’s BIG Love in this way!

What to Donate to PUMC’s Food Drive and What to Avoid

So, you’re ready to donate food to PUMC’s Food Drive. That’s great! Wondering what you should or should not donate? Here is a quick rundown for you.
Any food that is “shelf-stable” or nonperishable – that you can keep it in your pantry, and it won’t go bad can be accepted. And remember, only donate food that hasn’t reached its “sell-by” date yet. Food often needed are items like:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned soup
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned stew
  • Canned fish
  • Canned beans
  • Pasta
  • Rice

That’s not an exhaustive list, but it covers a lot of what is regularly needed. Additionally, personal care and household items are acceptable since many families struggle to afford them, and other food assistance programs like SNAP don’t cover them.
If you are running short on time and cannot get to the grocery store, cash (or equivalent) is always accepted. When you go to the store and spend $1, you get a dollar’s worth of food. But when you donate a dollar, your dollar is combined with others’ donations, increasing the buying power of the food banks.

If you’re still stumped about what to donate, look in your pantry. Families struggling with hunger often can’t afford the staples that we usually have stocked at home. So, check your pantry out and go from there. Even specialty foods like olive oil, dressings, or marinades can help if they don’t need refrigerated.

Speaking of refrigeration, that leads to…

What Not to Donate to a Food Bank

The number one rule to remember is this: if your donation is perishable, i.e., it’s something with a limited shelf life if not refrigerated, it cannot be accepted. But there are other categories of food that you can’t donate. We’ve broken it all down into this handy list:
Items needing refrigeration: As we’ve already mentioned, this is the big one. Food like produce, dairy, and meat can spoil quickly, and local food banks may not have the refrigerator or freezer space needed to keep these items fresh.

Expired food: When considering what to donate, think about what you’d be comfortable serving your family. Chances are, you don’t eat food that’s past its “use-by” or “sell-by” date, so avoid donating anything past those dates as it could be unsafe to eat.

Leftovers: While it may be tempting to share the bountiful food from big meals like Thanksgiving, it’s best to keep leftovers for family. To ensure the people they serve are safe, PUMC cannot accept leftovers or anything made in personal kitchens because they aren’t individually sealed.  

Food with packaging concerns: This includes food with damaged packaging such as dented or bloated cans or packaging that is already open. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t consider buying it new, don’t donate it.

Baked goods: Similar to leftovers, homemade baked goods are not acceptable.

Now that you’re in the know take action! Drop off your food and personal care donations Sundays from 11: 30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Mondays from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at door number 1.

If you still have questions, please contact Pastor Ken Loudenback at [email protected] or Mission Chairperson Ruth Ellen Stone at [email protected].