The Vandalia Post Office began having a St. John’s Catholic Church Food Pantry collection box in its lobby about 20 years ago. At that time, there were few others, but today residents of the Laddonia, Farber and Vandalia areas have access to three food pantries.
The First Baptist Church of Vandalia holds a food pantry on the first Wednesday of the month in Vandalia; the Mexico Help Center comes to Vandalia on the third Thursday of each month; and the St. John’s Food Pantry, located at 601 S. Elm St. in Laddonia, is open on the third Tuesday every month.
People in need of supplemental food are encouraged to use the pantry that is most convenient for them, but not all three, as food supplies run out quickly.
Mary Orri, who has been affiliated with the St. John Food Pantry for 25 years, picks up the donated food once or twice a week from the Vandalia Post Office lobby and delivers it to Laddonia.
“It started out with the yearly city carrier food drive years ago and the post office staff just kind of took it over and said why don’t we do this all of the time,” said Vandalia Postmaster Ryan Eskew.“
Last year, Orr says she picked up 2,330 donated items from the post office lobby. So far this year, she has picked up almost 1,800 food items.
“It’s just part of the community working together and the postmasters being willing to do that,” said Orr, who used to volunteer at the pantry until it became too taxing for her. “I decided I would bring the food up, so they don’t have to worry about that. I’ll make sure it gets here.”