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Flooding destroys half of Indiana food pantry’s supplies

VALPARAISO, Ind. -- From the Chicago suburbs to northwest Indiana, the torrential downpours and the flooding that followed has causing a lot damage. Six inches of water destroyed half of a food pantry's supply in Valparaiso, Ind.

The town isn’t that big but the Hilltop Neighborhood House helps a lot of people--which means the next couple of weeks are going to be tough.

The basement is pretty much dry and has been scrubbed clean.

“Water started coming down through our foundations everywhere and sub pumps couldn’t keep up, they stopped and the water just rose quickly,” Jennifer Wright, CEO of the pantry, said.

Wright and her crew worked fast to save the other half of their supplies.

People in the community depend on the food pantry--some for all their meals, others just to get them through a rough patch.

Mike Arrelo has depended on the pantry after he suffered some heart issues.

“If I didn't have this I would have to dig into my social security check,” he said.

He was featured in a video Hilltop House posted on its Facebook page.

There are hundreds more just like Arrelo. About 600 hundred families depend on the food pantry, according to Wright.

“For the next couple of weeks we’ll have to put people on hold, refer them to other agencies. Most don’t have cars and they walk here so its going to be tough for our local families," Wright said.

The pantry is using what little supplies they have left for emergency situations. They are also looking for a new place to store food.

The CEO said even though people want to help, they should not send them food, because they still need a place to store it.

To find out how to help the food pantry, visit their website at www.hilltophouse.org.