Collaboration is key to a thriving and united community. The more we can gather to support each other, the more successful we can be at anything we are determined to address together.  

53.5% of children in the Mitchell Community School system qualify for free and reduced lunches and according to the Indian Youth Institute, 16.7% of children under 18 are living in poverty. Out of 92 counties, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps ranks Lawrence County 70th, in the bottom 25% in the state in overall rankings in health outcomes.  

As a community, Lawrence County is coming together to support better health. In Mitchell schools, teachers and administrators, the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program, Purdue Extension Educators and Master Gardeners, LIFE Food Pantry, Ascension St. Vincent Dunn, the Lawrence County Community Foundation and parents, to name a few, are all working together to impact the health and food security of students. 

  • At the Mitchell Junior High School, a new in-school food pantry is being constructed. Funds for this project have come from a grant from the Lawrence County Community Foundation and Ascension St. Vincent Dunn. We anticipate that students will be able to utilize the Food Closet for emergency food as well as other items and supplies including food, clothing and shoes. 
  • Burris Elementary will be adding a garden to their campus soon. Funding for building the garden has been provided by Ascension St. Vincent Dunn. The garden will be used for classroom instruction and is anticipated to be built before the end of 2021. 
  • Last school year the Lawrence County Community Foundation provided funding for the LIFE Blessings program. This program sent food home with students on Fridays at Burris and Hatfield Elementary schools in the months of February, March, April and May 2021. Funding for the program has been entirely depleted at Burris and donations are needed to continue when school resumes in August. It is estimated that $6,000 is needed for the 2021-22 school year at Burris Elementary. Donations from organizations and individuals can be made to LIFE Food Pantry for the LIFE Blessings program at Burris. They accept monetary donations through their website at or by calling their office 812-849-2111.     

Additional resources to access food in Lawrence County include: 

  • The Bread of Life food pantry in Mitchell 
    This drive through pantry is open on Mondays from 10-1 pm and Tuesdays from 1-3 pm at 815 W Main Street in Mitchell.  
  • LIFE Food Pantry operates in Mitchell at 122 N. 7th Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11:30 am and 1-2:30 pm,and in Bedford at 1204 I Street on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10-11:30 am and 1-3:30 pm.  
  • The Families First Mobile Pantry of Bedford delivers to Sherwood Oaks Church at 508 Fellowship Drive on the 4th Tuesday of the month from 1-3 pm and in Mitchell at the First Church of God at 405 N 12th Street on the 4th Thursday of the month from 1-3 pm.  

In addition to the food pantries highlighted above, area schools and community organizations are providing free meals to all students this summer. To find a summer meals site near you, text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 or visit the No Kid Hungry Free Meal Finder Map here. 

Learn more about the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program at   

Learn more about finding food for those in need through the Hoosier Hills Food Bank at