Gleaners Makes $500,000 Investment in RCCA and REC Center

Gleaners employees, RCCA volunteers and other local leaders celebrate $500,000 grant

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana distributes food to those in need within a 21-county area of Indiana, including Rush County. Locally, they provide food to the Rush County Community Assistance (RCCA) Food Pantry, the Milroy Community Food Pantry (MCFP) and the Lions Shack Food Pantry at Rushville Consolidated High School with a mission “to lead the fight against hunger.”


Their commitment has grown beyond only providing food. Through a unique approach, they are also fundraising for and providing capacity building grants to their partner programs to address barriers they face in providing more nutritious food to their communities.


Gleaners staff were in Rushville last week to present RCCA with a $500,000 grant to help fund their expanded new location at the forthcoming REC Center. RCCA will be joined by area social service agencies inside the REC Center, providing a centralized location to better serve the community. (Read more about the REC Center.)


After the check presentation, the group visited the site of the future REC Center, the former Walmart building at 1850 N. Main Street in Rushville. It provides the perfect skeleton for this project and RCCA in particular. The former retailer’s large walk-in coolers and delivery ramp will be utilized for the pantry. A large commercial kitchen will be added to host cooking demonstrations and classes. The ability to serve more people in a warm and inviting atmosphere will be an enormous benefit to our community.


As pandemic-related support declines and inflation increases, more people are relying on food pantries. John Elliott, Gleaners CEO, noted that his organization had its largest distribution ever in June of 2022. RCCA’s board chair, Darilyn Bedel, added that they served 100 more Rush County families this June than in June of 2021. She said her volunteers have seen a 5% increase in the number of those served over age 65 in just the last two months. Jan Long, Pantry Coordinator at MCFP, offered more proof that need is on the rise. Their pantry is housed inside Milroy Elementary School. One day recently, visitors to the pantry were causing traffic to be backed up on State Road 244, a mile away!


With the health of the communities they serve being their priority, Gleaners is committed to covering the cost of produce to its partner programs. Other items such as meat, eggs, milk and shelf stable items are available for the pantries to order at a substantially reduced cost. RCCF’s Ewing Fund supports both RCCA and MCFP as well as Gleaners monthly mobile pantry with grants. Baked goods and meat are also donated by the Kroger in Rushville. The variety of foods available is incredible! It’s entirely possible to have the ingredients for two weeks of meals from one trip to the pantry.


RCCA partners monthly with Purdue Extension to share samples and recipes from items available at the pantry. This fall they will be working with nutritionists from Rush Memorial Hospital to begin labeling foods as appropriate for certain health issues such as diabetes.


Time and again, Gleaners’ staff are quick to mention that they love Rush County. It’s amazing to realize that these vital services are provided solely by volunteers. Our community is so fortunate to have such caring people like Darilyn, Jan and all who give their time to work at the pantries. And Indiana is truly blessed to have a forward-thinking organization like Gleaners to make transformative investments in our local pantries and the communities they serve. We are grateful for their support!



RCCA , 109 E. 3rd Street, Rushville

  • Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

MCFP, Milroy Elementary, 300 N. Walnut Street, Milroy

  • Hours: 1st Saturday of each month from 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • 3rd Monday of each month from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Lions Shack, RCHS in Room 169, which is accessible through the parking area located off of Sexton Street and across from the Community Building. Please note: The parent must have current documentation of student enrollment, but does NOT have to be accompanied by the student to pick up food. Students may come alone or with other students.

  • Hours: 3rd Thursday of each month from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
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