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Q&A: Time to help ... Potato drop feeds hungry


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With the holidays approaching, potatoes will take center stage in many gatherings and meals.

Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin is working to make sure all families have the ability to put food on their tables. Their second annual Potato Drop will take place 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 16 at the church.

Head pastor Andy Kinsey explained the idea behind this event:

What is the potato drop?

We’re going to ship in 41,000 pounds of potatoes. We ship them in from Wisconsin on pallets and boxes and bags. You just come in with your car, and we’ll load these 20 to 40 pound bags of potatoes into your car for the holidays.

Why do you do this?

The whole point is to address the issues of hunger in local communities.

Why potatoes?

The potato is so versatile — you can fry them, bake them, boil them, mash them. It’s endless.

Where did you come up with this idea?

I was attending a men’s meeting, and I met a man from Carmel who was sharing what his church was doing to fight hunger, in respects to potato distribution. For $4,000, you can ship in these potatoes and give them out to families, food pantries, food insecure people.

Why did this seem like a good project for Grace United Methodist?

Our church focuses on issues of poverty and hunger anyway. I made the connections with the Society of St. Andrews and got signed up.

How are you able to do this?

We partner with the Society of St. Andrew. They’re a nonprofit who organize food gleaning from crops, collecting food that will not be used by farmers and would otherwise be thrown out.

How much does it cost?

It’s all free. There are no strings attached to these potatoes. Last year, being the first time, there was some confusion about showing an ID or things like that. You don’t have to do this.

How have you been letting people know they can take part?

We have been working over the past month in the community. We’ve made contact with people at social agencies, food pantries and others to get the word out.

Where do you stand on raising money for it?

We’re about halfway there, with $2,000. Our goal is $4,000 to ship the potatoes here. If people want to help, we need financial help. We have enough volunteers. The men’s ministry here does all the work, unloading the potatoes and giving them out.

How can people help?

Write a check to the church, 1300 E. Adams St., Franklin, IN 46131, and mark “potato” in the subject line.

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