JOB WELL DONE: Food bank director to step down

SOUTH WHITLEY — Driving 3,138 miles and dedicating 920 hours just in 2011 alone, the South Whitley Area Emergency Food Bank Director Susan Butcher is stepping down from her position effective May 1.Butcher announced her retirement at the food bank's committee meeting in January.After 24 years of fighting hunger in the community of South Whitley, Butcher recalls her past struggles and raising a family, plus trying to make ends meet. Years ago Butcher was a single mother and would hitch hike every day to her employment in Fort Wayne.“I now refuse to see other residents live that way,” Butcher said.With Butcher leaving, several changes will be taking place, along with new contact numbers and food pantry hours.Stepping up to the plate are new co-directors Tonya and Dave Warner, along with Mark and Michelle Pratt. The new local phone number is 212-2964, along with hours set for 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday and 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday. Other times are by appointment only. The food pantry will still offer delivery for those in need.New directors are also planning to expand their space by utilizing an extra room at the food pantry located on Broad Street by partnering with Tabatha’s Closet, a non-food pantry for hygiene items.Other committee members include: Ron King, secretary; Greg Bateman, King’s assistant; and members Wava Boggs, Pam Bateman, Patty Weybright, Tom and Lulu Rudd, Sally Maggart, Eloise Bollinger and Kathy Carvey.