by Caitlin Huston
Emmaus Mission Center in Logansport will be receiving a big boost with a grant of $20,000 from Walmart.
Emmaus won the grant after placing ninth out of 162 food centers nationwide in an online voting contest sponsored by Walmart. Jason Mitchell, executive director of the Emmaus Mission Center, said the center will be specifically using the money to feed children.
Mitchell said Emmaus was able to gather 4,339 votes by spreading the word around town and having their own residents vote once a day, but also by sending on letters nationally to anyone connected with the mission center.
“I think in part we’ve kind of gotten support from everywhere,” Mitchell said.
With the competition lasting the month of April, Emmaus had to place in the top 60 to receive the $20,000. But even despite their strong lead, Mitchell said he still anxiously stayed up late April 30 to watch the clock strike midnight.
“It’s just amazing,” Mitchell said.
The grant came from Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together initiative. The initiative awarded $40,000 to 40 food banks and $20,000 to 60 “partner feeding agencies.”
Mitchell said Emmaus was sponsored by the Food Finders Food Bank so the money will be administered by the food bank as a credit for when Emmaus buys food from them.
Kier Crites, community relations and marketing director at Food Finders, said the food bank is “thrilled” that Emmaus won the grant.
“It’s going to be a fantastic partnership,” Crites said.
Matthews Market in Fulton County and the Evangelical Covenant Church in Tippecanoe County also won grants with sponsorships from Tippecanoe.
Mitchell said Emmaus will be using the money to buy kid-friendly and nutritious food for a new section of their food pantry at 1203 College St. specifically for children.
“Anything that they can make that’s easy to make or nutritious,” Mitchell said.
In April, Mitchell said Emmaus served about 350 families.
He said they’ll be giving out the food to Cass County families once a month.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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