- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hundreds of cars lined up in economically distressed Elkhart on Tuesday to receive food and other items from 13 semitrailers sent by a charity.

The trucks carried more than $2.1 million worth of food, enough to help sustain about 5,200 families for a week. Elkhart, with an unemployment rate of 18.3 percent, was recently visited by President Barack Obama trying to muster public support for economic stimulus legislation.

The line wrapped around a shopping mall parking lot and onto surrounding roads. Layoffs in the recreational vehicle industry have driven much of the job loss in northern Indiana. The city was the second of several cities on Feed the Children’s “Americans Feeding Americans Emergency Caravan.”

“It’s been a struggle,” said Patricia Smith, of Elkhart, who waited more than an hour to get her supplies, which came in a box containing macaroni and cheese, canned goods, toilet paper and other items. “We’re surviving and we’re going to make it through this.”

Roughly 1,600 families picked up food and supplies Tuesday as 300 volunteers placed packages in their cars. Feed the Children also arranged for deliveries to be shipped out to 3,600 other northern Indiana families.

“What we want people to know is that in this time of despair, there is hope,” said Larry Jones, the founder and president of Feed the Children. “People haven’t forgotten you.”

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