“Shalom” is a Hebrew word that has a lot of meanings: hello, goodbye and peace be with you. The Shalom House has come to mean food, shelter, and community to many residents in the area.
The Shalom House, located on West Green Street in Lebanon, has two programs. The Hot Meals Program serves meals Tuesday evening, Saturday at noon and the last Thursday evening of the month. The Kids’ Sack Lunch Program distributes a full week of nonperishable sack lunches from eight county-wide sites to school-aged children.
“Our greatest need is financial, but we also need volunteers,” Program Coordinator Lisa Williams said. “Because we are a private organization, we don’t qualify for most grants or other funding, but we serve a lot of needs in Boone County, including those who need us to deliver meals to their homes because they can’t get out.”
According to Assistant Sharon DeLong, it costs roughly $300 for one Tuesday or Saturday meal and $5,000 to sponsor one week of the Kids’ Sack Lunch program. Over 13,000 hot meals were served in 2018 and over 4,500 kids were served over 22,000 lunches in 2018.
Aside from in-kind donations, the organization also has two major fundraisers. The Garden Park is scheduled for June 19, 2020, at Maplelawn Farmstead in Zionsville. It includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and live music. The Shalom House also holds a Shalom Garden Tour, which is slated for June 20, 2020. This event allows participants to see beautiful home gardens to get ideas for their own gardens.
In Boone County, 11 percent of the population, or 6,370 people, suffer from food insecurity. Shalom House has been a recipient of Operation Round Up grants. Since 2006, over $20,000 has been granted to the Shalom program.
Several Boone REMC employees volunteered to pass out meals this month. If anyone is interested in helping, bring nonperishable food items to the REMC to be delivered on the volunteer night. Five items can be exchanged for an energy efficiency bag.
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