Food bank receives much-needed donation

Members of the American Legion, Post 103 in St. Marys presented volunteers from the St. Marys Christian Food Bank with an annual donation on Wednesday. The $2,000 check was delivered courtesy of American Legion representatives, Adjutant Jim Distler, Commander Dick Parson, and Chaplain Vic Straub. Parson said the donation is in recognition of and appreciation for all that the food bank and its volunteers do for the community. "It's a good thing these women do, volunteer their time. They help a lot of people," Parson said. Billie Diehl, a volunteer with the food bank, said the nonprofit organization, in existence since 1983, is dependent upon donations like these and expressed her gratitude. Diehl said that while the bank does receive state funding, the funding is down due to the fact that lawmakers looking to close budget gaps have implemented stricter requirements related to local poverty and unemployment rates in order for food banks and pantries to qualify for funding. The new criteria states that a jurisdiction must have an 11.5 percent unemployment rate from the period of March 2010 through February 2011 or a 14.4 percent poverty rate from most recent Census data to be deemed eligible for direct allocation funds. Coupled with reduced funding, rising food costs have also made it more difficult for food banks to provide sustenance to those in need.